“Pilot plans to bring back international students to Australia will not be affected by the Victorian border closure”, as per several reports in Australia.
On, 15th July, the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), a membership-based peak body bringing together independent providers in the higher education, vocational education and training sectors had confirmed arrangements of a pilot program to enable international students to return to Australia.
Several universities were planning to bring back international students to Australia in adherence to the federal government’s requirements, however Victoria’s border closure had cast uncertainty over the program.
The federal government had mandated, state/territory borders must be open, quarantine arrangements must be made, and campuses must be open before international students would be welcomed back.
However, they had also said, an exception could be made to closures to deal with local outbreaks (e.g. current closures pertaining to Victoria).
Education Minister Dan Tehan said planning remained “well underway” on conditions that would allow the return of international students, and Victoria’s closure would not affect the pilot programs.
Mr Tehan said the government was working with universities to limit the impacts of COVID-19 on international students in Australia and those unable to return.
Furthermore, as per news reports, the government is also considering granting post-study work rights to international students enrolled at Australian universities but forced to remain overseas due to the travel ban.
Earlier, Post Study Working Rights were only granted to students pursuing degrees from Australia (on-shore).