The closure of the Australian borders has affected many industries and one of those is the international education sector. But the good news is, there are plans for resumption through a small phased program for international students late this year, which hopefully will gradually increase in terms of volume by 2022.
International students have played an important role in the cultural and economic life in South Australia. With this, the government and health authorities opened the possibility of welcoming back international students, given the necessary precautions in mind, through the South Australia Pilot Program.
This is the first state to secure approval from the Australian federal government, intending to bring back its international students.
The program does not affect the returning Australians as it will be done under a separate arrival cap. This plan was the conclusion of a great deal of work from the industry stakeholders. The intention is to deliver a safer path for returning international students as stated by the Minister of Trade and Investment Stephen Patterson.
The health and safety of South Australians are still the number one priority. The South Australian community has the assurance that the site where the students will complete their 14 days quarantine can meet infection control protocols as required by the Federal government. Included in the pre-conditions when students arrive is that the state border must be open for domestic travel with exception of Covid-19 hotspots.
Here are the important points of the South Australia Pilot Program:
300 students will be flown from Singapore to Adelaide
The shortlisted students will undergo a mandatory supervised quarantine for two weeks before they start their classes.
The shortlisted students are based on factors including:
Face-to-face and practical learning or placement are essential to their degree.
How close they are to completing their degrees
The cost of the hotel-quarantine program for the students will be shouldered by the universities.
The students who were unable to complete their studies within the timeframe of their original visa due to COVID 19, may lodge their additional application for free.
Part of the student pilot initiatives is to allow vaccinated travelers into the country. The Australian government is now considering testing the “green light” or “red light” border system. Fully vaccinated international students could be part of this new traffic light system for international arrivals.
While this is a piece of positive news for international students, the exact final numbers and country of origin of students who will qualify for the program are yet to be finalized. However, students from Singapore, Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Indonesia have been invited to join the said program. Nonetheless, this program intends to welcome students from a diverse range of countries.
The South Australia Pilot Program has given hope to the returning international students studying across Australia to continue their education in the country. Although there are still a lot of considerations before students start to arrive, the South Australia pilot program has become a “blueprint” for other states to prepare their plans. From these programs, we look forward to more good news for international students from other states.
Are you excited to be part of Australia's growing number of international students? Our team in Fil-Global Immigration Services is ready to assist you in whichever country you want to pursue your studies. Contact us for more information and inquiries.