Lack of time to welcome international students: university executives

The university president fears that Victoria, Australia, will lose future international students to other countries if the federal government continues to postpone the reopening of borders with international students.

Deakin University Deputy Prime Minister Ian Martin said students, especially from India, are seeking study from other countries because the state government has failed to return students to the state.

He urged the government to accelerate student return plans, so the multi-billion dollar sector will not suffer any further financial losses.

“I don’t want to leave this for another six months without a clear path, because I think it will probably bring recovery back another twelve months,” Martin said. Age..

Education Minister Alan Tudge recently predicted that a mass return of international students would begin in 2022. He also said he welcomed the university to work with local governments to allow early return of small cohorts.

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RMIT graduates will march on the Melbourne CBD on December 17, 2008 in Melbourne, Australia. (Luis Enrique Squee / Getty Images)

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) is calling on state and federal governments to launch a pilot program that will allow students to return in time for the second semester of the year.

“We need to look at the plan, which must be notified, flagged and marketed to international students by the end of June,” said Paul Guerra, CEO of VCCI. “Then both Canada and the UK will start to come online. If students choose to go to Canada or the UK, they will lose them for another 12 months.”

Education has been Victoria’s largest service export industry for over a decade. In 2019, it contributed a record $ 13.7 billion (US $ 9.6 billion) to the state economy, accounting for 32.3 percent of Australia’s total land registrants.

Universities in Victoria are so worried that it is being discussed to set up a quarantine system similar to the Australian Open, with about 1000 students entering the state every few weeks.

The university is willing to pay the quarantine fee if it means that the student may return home.

Phil Honeywood, CEO of the Australian International Education Association, supported the proposal and expressed concern about the education sector in Victoria.

According to Honeywood, the students have been waiting for more than 18 months to resume their studies, but may decide to go to Canada or the United Kingdom to finish their studies.

“It took decades to build a reputation for Australia as a safe, cozy, multicultural and world-class study place.” He said 3AW radio. “So are we going to go to the trash away from it? [Victoria’s] The biggest industry? “

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An overview of the University of Melbourne signboard in Melbourne, November 17, 2020. (AAP Image / James Ross)

Honeywood has complained that the state government has prioritized sports and allowed athletes to compete in the Australian Open over the higher education sector.

“We are the only ones who do not have a state international education strategy,” he said. “When New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia (SA) finally get to do something, they’re really angry about gaining Victoria’s market share.”

Honeywood mentioned a proposal that NSW and SA recently announced to begin returning students. NSW plans to welcome an estimated 10,000 students this year.

Avid Khan, Vice-President of Monash University, said his university is working closely with the Victoria State Government to help international students return home safely.

“Monash works with other universities to provide students with the educational, mental health, social and other pastoral services they need throughout the life cycle of their campus journey, a variety of potentially safe students. We have provided a detailed approach to support the corridor model, “Khan told the Epoch Times.

A RMIT University spokesman also told the Epoch Times that he is working with the state government and other universities on a “state-wide approach” to allow students to enter Victoria.

“We have introduced innovative alternatives to help internationally based students get involved until they can join us again in Melbourne,” said a spokesman. It was. “Australia and Victoria continue to be attractive destinations for international students to continue their studies. We look forward to welcoming them as soon as possible.”

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