International students to be allowed into Australia under a pilot program from September

The University of Adelaide (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

South Australia is gearing to welcome hundreds of international students under a national pilot program from September. The pilot program mandates international students to undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine like all interanational arrivals. As per reports, universities have agreed to cover the costs for hotel quarantine program for arriving students.

Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham on Sunday said the pilot program of approximately 300 students would be used to test whether a return of international students nationally could be managed.

Australia’s education sector has been one of the hardest hit owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of international students have been stranded in their home countries after Australia closed its borders to all temporary visa holders. The students, many of whom were part way through their courses were requesting the Australian government to prepare a clear plan for their possible arrival.

South Australia, which has had only one confirmed Covid-19 case in the past week from an international returnee, is an ideal destination for the pilot program. An earlier planned pilot program to allow 350 international students in the Australian Capital Territory was scrapped after Victoria started recording a spike in community transmission.

The group of approximately 300 students will be flying into Adelaide from Singapore, and also includes students from Hong Kong, China, and Japan.