Unis could fund quarantine for returning international students, hints Andrews

written by Sandy Milne | June 3, 2020
A file image of Qantas Airbus A380 VH-OQK. (Wikimedia Commons/N509FZ)
A file image of Qantas Airbus A380 VH-OQK. (Wikimedia Commons/N509FZ)

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has spoken on how to get “international education back on its feet,” arguing that some form of jointly-funded quarantine will likely be necessary.

With strict border restrictions leaving thousands of international students trapped abroad, Universities Australia estimates that the sector faces losses of between $3.1 billion and $4.8 billion this year alone.

As a vital source of income for the Australian economy, state and federal government figures are united on the need to outline a plan – but divided on what form it should take.

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“Just like anybody else coming in, [students] would have to go through a quarantine period and that decision has got to be sequenced with whatever arrangements are made in terms of the international border, which I fully support remaining closed for the foreseeable future,” said Andrews.

“But if we can get students back safely, then that’s obviously a smart thing for us to do.”

Daniel Andrews (Source: Parliament of Victoria)

In May, the government indicated that it will consider exempting international students from border measures as early as July, and invited universities to put forth plans to attract international students.

“We are welcoming of proposals for universities – subject to it being at the same time as their general student populations – to look at means of bringing back through supervised, stringent quarantine, international students,” added Andrews.

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Though a pilot program submitted by the Group of Eight – which represents some of Australia’s top institutions – outlined suggestions including pre-departure isolation and strict health checks, the plan does not touch on funding.

Andrews, on the other hand, says that he would like to see a “partnership” model, where funding is split between state governments and the institutions themselves.

“I think I’d want to have a conversation – as I have been – and I want to continue having conversations with unis about that,” he said.

“I think there’s probably a partnership approach and maybe the best thing for us to do.”

13 Comments

  • Craigy

    says:

    Pre-departure isolation would be difficult to police and therefore a waste of time. Two weeks isolation on arrival is the only way it could seriously be policed but where given the numbers.

  • Nicholas

    says:

    No no no.

    The government is losing the plot if it gives international students priority over its own citizens…

    • Monit Verma

      says:

      The government is giving priority to the 40 billion dollars contributed by the international students yearly. Most of the students both career and lives are still hanging losely in the air.

  • Claudia

    says:

    Allow the entry of students who currently have visa must be at all levels. NOT ONLY students of universities. This is not fair. If the person can pay the quarantine and the test, why not let it enter.

    • Upama

      says:

      My husband has student 500 subclass and I’m doing masters here. Can’t my husband enter to the country once they allow to Students ??? Plz reply me

  • Ash

    says:

    Allow the entry of students who currently have visa must be at all levels.

  • allow travel student if they have valid visa. whatever they are studying

  • Satnam Singh

    says:

    Allow the entry of all students who currently have valid visa. I also have student visa sub class 500. I came to india for my marriage ceremony in march but stucked here.

  • Adeel

    says:

    Entry should be allowed to all students who have Australian student visa at any level of education. Students are happy to pay for their quarantine and COVID-19 test.

    • Mubeen

      says:

      Brother you are right. I am also stuck. That’s the only approach, Aus Gov. will consider in future. So why not now?
      We are willing to pay for quarantine and even before departure COVID-19 test.
      We should stand together and raise our voice. As eariler students did for their financial hardships time.

  • Usha Rizvi

    says:

    Besides those students stuck outside Australia,Due to the international border restrictions, international students in Australia cannot go to their home country during semester break as they cant return when the Uni reopens due to the entry ban , for non PR & non residents . This is unfair when the government is not giving any support ( either with rent) or jobs( unavailable).
    Besides…they are in no hurry to start f2f classes & continue to charge the same hefty fees! If schools are reopened why not University. Those who continued to stay in Australia are left in disadvantage. Both ways its a loss for the student community.

  • Mubeen

    says:

    Yes, 100% agree. Students who already have visa, should be allowed.
    Students will have to pay for their quarantine.
    That’s the only approach, Aus Gov. will consider in future. So why not now?
    We are willing to pay for quarantine and even before departure COVID-19 test.
    We should stand together and raise our voice. As eariler students did for their financial hardships time.

  • Subhan

    says:

    Yes, 100% agree. Students who already have visa, should be allowed.
    Students will have to pay for their quarantine.
    That’s the only approach, Aus Gov. will consider in future. So why not now?
    We are willing to pay for quarantine and even before departure COVID-19 test.
    We should stand together and raise our voice.

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