Australia: No State Met the Deadline for Submitting a Plan for Bringing Back Int’l Students

None of the states or territories in Australia have met the deadline of the federal government on bringing forward their plans on returning international students in 2021, by the end of November.

The Government of New South Wales (NSW) together with the ACT and NT governments are set to present their plans to the Morrison government during this week, whereas Victoria and SA could not meet the deadline but reported that they are working on their proposals, Erudera College News reports.

On Monday, the Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said that WA, Queensland and Tasmania are the three states yet to advise a timetable about any plan.

“I wrote to all states and territories asking them to submit their plan for international student arrivals by the end of November,” he said.

In the November 6 letter, sent to every government within the country, Tehan said that plans had to be signed by the Premiers and their chief health officers, as well as need to clarify how the international students will be brought safely in the country after Christmas.

In response to whether the government has already submitted their plans, the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stated that universities are preparing the state’s proposal.

“My understanding is that the universities are in discussions. They are putting a proposal to the federal government, but we have made it very clear that there would have to [be] hotel quarantine and we’ve also made it very clear that we are actually watching how that happens in other states,” she said.

Whereas, a spokesman for WA Premier Mark McGowan asserted that the state does not have any specific date for returning international students.

He added that they will continue to receive advice from the Chief Health Officer and will not work after deadlines.

On Monday, the first group of international students, a total of 63 international students arrived in the city of Darwin under a pilot program of Charles Darwin University (CDU), the first time since the country’s closure in March.

Students who arrived in Australia came from China, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Indonesia.

According to Tehan, due to limited quarantine places in hotels, it remains a priority of the government to bring back around 30,000 Australians stuck abroad.

Data issued by the Morrison government in November shows that during 2019 universities across Australia have managed to collect a total of $10 billion through international student fees.

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