Australian universities may see a large cohort of international students returning to class by early 2022, the Minister of Education says.
“We look forward to welcoming international students staying abroad and thank them for their patience,” said Alan Tudge, Minister of Education. In a speech Wednesday at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
Tudge said the government is more confident that the vaccine deployment could bring international students back home by semester 1 next year.
Meanwhile, he said he welcomed individual universities to bring back small groups with the approval of the Chief Health Officer.
This is because the number of international students has almost doubled from 400,000 in 2012 to 750,000 in the last decade, revealing a $ 37.5 billion contribution to the Australian economy last fiscal year.
“This incredible growth was good for our economy, but even before the COVID hit, tensions were emerging and the continued growth rate of registrants on campus is in my view. It wasn’t sustainable, “said Tudge. “This is especially true for public institutions with broader authority.”
Border restrictions by COVID-19 had a devastating economic impact on the higher education sector. However, the impact on registration was not as serious as initially thought.
University enrollment fell by just 5% in 2020 to the same number as in 2018. Many international students have opted to postpone their studies or continue their online studies.
However, Tudge said the financial difficulties of 2020 provided educational institutions with the opportunity to rethink their business models and explore different ways in which Australian education could expand in the international market.
Therefore, the tagge Announcement of release The result of discussions on Australia’s international education strategy from 2021 to 2030 with the aim of guiding the sector’s recovery and paving the way for long-term success.
One possibility he wants to explore is the development of online education, especially for offshore international students.
“Australia has become the world’s third largest provider of international education,” said Tudge.
He said India has set a goal of training 400 million workers as a workforce by 2022, and Indonesia has set a goal of educating an additional 57 million skilled workers by 2030.
“It is unlikely that Indian and Indonesian institutions have the ability to provide so much education in the short term,” Tudge said. “Australian institutions have the opportunity to address this market by further leveraging online delivery or hybrid learning models at a variety of prices.”
Tudge also wants a way to ensure that international student enrollment targets areas where the country is experiencing a lack of skills.
“Currently, almost half of international university registrations are concentrated in commerce, but areas such as engineering, mathematics, technology and health are attracting significantly lower registration shares than the OECD average,” he said. I did. “In the United States, two-thirds of international students are engaged in engineering, science, and health.”
Tudge also wants to attract students from countries other than China and India, which account for more than 55% of Australia’s international students.
“Concentration not only limits the diversity of classroom perspectives, but also reduces the resilience of the international education sector to changing global demand,” he said.
MAny university or higher education institution welcomes the announcement of Tudge.
The Group of Eight (Go8) said it looks forward to working with the government to develop a comprehensive plan to improve and expand the experience of international students.
“We hope that the government and the higher education sector will work together to maintain a competitive advantage in international education and research while providing Australia with the skills and expertise needed to meet national priorities. It’s important to develop a model to confirm, “said Go8 CEO Vicki Thomson. Said in a statement..
Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA) emphasized the economic importance of international students and stated that “appropriate consultation” is essential for “correct conduct.”
“The Australian economy needs the industry to resume operations as soon as possible, and IHEA is working closely with the government to achieve this.” IHEA CEO Simon Finn Said. “IHEA looks forward to participating in the consultation process of Australia’s International Education Strategy 2021-2030 over the next few months.”