The Australian government has approved a plan to let 160 international students back into the state of South Australia, in a small but hopeful step forward towards a larger return plan in the future.
Following on from a pilot scheme in November 2020, which brought 63 students back to Charles Darwin University, South Australia’s approved plan will be the first time a group of international students has been granted entry to the country this year.
The scheme will run separately from current arrival caps determined by the Australian government. Institutions and students will bear the costs of travel and a two-week quarantine, which is expected to take place at an airfield in Adelaide.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 international students enrolled in Australian universities have been studying remotely in their home countries because of Australia’s strict Covid-19 border controls.
Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson congratulated South Australia on the news, saying that “it demonstrates what is possible when health authorities, government, industry and our universities cooperate in achieving the safe return of students from low-risk nations”.
“We hope to see more states and territories go down the same path as South Australia in the near future,” she continued.
Although no formal long-term plan has been announced yet, it is a step in the right direction for international students enrolled across Australia’s universities.
We are delighted to share that South Australia’s International Student Arrival Plan has been approved by the federal government.— Uni of Adelaide (@UniofAdelaide) June 18, 2021
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