Hundreds of international students are expected to return to New South Wales by the end of 2021, following the finalization of the state’s plan to reopen the international higher education sector, Erudera.com reports.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet confirmed that the plan will help in developing part of NSW’s road map to reopening after the Delta Coronavirus variant.
“NSW will have first mover advantage compared to the rest of the country. We have the best universities in Australia, and now we are going to be the sole market for international students,” Perrottet told The Sydney Morning Herald.
According to him, thousands of people rely on the international student sector in terms of employment, adding that by reopening the industry, the state could tackle the labor shortage.
The plan stipulates that all inbound students must be fully vaccinated with Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recognized vaccines, such as Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca. Following this requirement, students coming from Japan, the US, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Hong Kong will be granted permission to the state.
Differently, students from China and Nepal who are vaccinated with Sinovac or Sinopharm will not be able to enter the state at the moment.
Perrottet has spent 12 months working on the plan to return international students; nevertheless, it was interrupted due to the Delta variant. He further told the Sydney Morning Herald that he is now collaborating with universities on a strategy to return international students from China and Nepal as well.
Many of Australia’s international students have been stuck abroad for 552 days now due to Australia closing its borders since March last year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Since that time, students have constantly sought help from competent authorities to allow them to enter Australia and continue their studies.
According to an official announcement, NSW and Commonwealth governments will launch a home quarantine pilot in Greater Sydney as of next month, as the state prepares to reopen its international borders. The pilot, which is expected to be operated and monitored by NSW Health and NSW Police, will allow 175 fully-vaccinated returned travelers to self-isolate at home for seven days.
“NSW has quarantined over 245,000 travelers throughout this pandemic, by far the most of any jurisdiction in the country and this pilot will lay the foundations for us to reunite even more families and friends who are fully vaccinated,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
In 2019, international students contributed a total of $37.6 billion to the Australian economy and $14.6 billion to New South Wales.