The Australian state of New South Wales could soon allow international students to return under a pilot program. The program is expected to be open in the second half of this year.
The NSW government, the other day announced that the state would welcome 250 students per fortnight as part of the trial from mid-year. It has been also informed that the quarantine rules for international travellers will be applicable for these students too and they will have to quarantine in the purpose-built student accommodation.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet pointed out in the statement that before the pandemic, New South Wales used to have more than 250000 international students studying in the higher education institutions of the state every year and they directly supported over 95,000 local jobs. He also shared the concern that if the state did not open up for international students, they would turn to other education destinations and it will affect the growth of the State’s education sector.
According to the State Government, the students will be selected by the universities on the basis of a range of criteria and their individual circumstances. Priority will be given to higher degree research students.
The pilot program will be paid for by the industry and the state government will provide governance and operational support. Now the plan has to be reviewed by the federal government.
New South Wales host more than a third of international students in Australia. As on May 31, more than 47000 international students are unable to travel to New South Wales.
Australia is one of the most popular destinations for international education. Some of the world’s best universities are located in Australia. High quality of education, better scope for research and affordability attract students from across the world to Australia. However, the border restrictions severely affected the inflow of students to the country. Now the country is planning to reopen its borders for international students, who contribute to their economy and job market in a major way.