Australia – The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed Australia to close its borders to contain the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, international students could not return and finish their studies. Institutions in the South Australia area now plead to the federal government to allow their international students to travel to the country and continue their academic programs.
According to Xinhua reports, the enrollment of international students in South Australia universities dropped by 47% during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Vice-President and Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) of Flinders University, Sebastian Raneskold, said that the government has to be proactive and make the plan of the arrival of international students functional already. The health and safety of each student are important, and the receiving quarantine facilities must make it convenient for their return.
International students play a huge role in Australia’s economy by contributing to $1.54 billion annually before the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese and Indian students form the biggest international education market in Australia and have decreased enrollments ever since the pandemic started. If these foreign students will not be let inside the borders this year, this will hurt the economy.
Jacqueline Lo, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Adelaide, shared that it is disappointing and worrying that Australia’s borders will only reopen by mid-2022. In turn, the Education Minister, Alan Tudge, reassured that the government is asking for proposals from all state and territory governments regarding the return of all international students back to Australia.
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