More than 30,000 international students who have stuck by Group of Eight universities during COVID-19 and continued their studies offshore, can start planning their return to campus with confidence, following the Prime Minister’s announcement today.
“The Australian Government’s decision to allow fully vaccinated eligible visa holders including international students and skilled workers, to return to Australia from 1 December 2021, signals the beginning of an exciting new phase for Australia’s fourth largest export industry – international education,” said Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson.
“Go8 unis have been preparing to welcome back their international students and today’s announcement gives our higher education sector, our students and researchers much needed certainty.
“The commitment demonstrated by international students to stick with Go8 universities throughout this difficult period is testament to our expert researchers, teaching staff and domestic students, all of whom contribute to the quality education and quality lifestyle we provide to our international student cohort.
“Negotiating the return of international students has been a complex process and we are pleased to have worked closely with the Australian Government throughout, on issues such as vaccine recognition to ensure the safe return of students.
“There are a number of students who already hold visas to enter Australia, and we look forward to seeing them on the ground as soon as possible. As other students begin the process of returning to on campus study in Australia, there may be additional pressure on the Department of Home Affairs to expedite visa applications to ensure students hit the ground ready for the opening of semester one 2022.
“The Prime Minister’s announcement is not only great news for our students, but their return is eagerly anticipated by our hospitality industry as workforce shortages become increasingly serious.
“Australia’s long term border closure has taken a toll on many sectors, international education, supply chains, businesses, and families – today’s announcement is a welcome end of year reward for the effort our community has made to work with government to keep Australians safe and secure,” said Ms Thomson.