International arrivals aren’t imminent

It will take a vaccine to change things

Education Minister Alan Tudge says he does not know when international student arrivals can resume at scale, saying being able to “take numbers in again” depends on an effective vaccine. “We have to make sure the vaccines work. We have to have some surety about the fact that the student has indeed been vaccinated with a proper vaccine and we know that that person is safe to come into Australia,” he told ABC TV news, Friday.

He added that state and territory governments were yet to present plans for arrivals approved by their chief medical officers. “State governments are working through those things, along with the higher education providers, but we’re still not at that stage yet where we are in the position to be able to have significant quarantining arrangements for those international students.”

Where the pain is worse

Mr Tudge added that private education and training providers and English-language colleges are “hurting the most at the moment.”  “But as far as those public universities and some of the TAFEs – yes they’re down, but not down too much.”

That public providers are not suffering especially is in-line with the government’s long established position that universities do not qualify for job-support funding because of the pandemic.

The Minister added, “we are obviously keeping a very close eye on what the enrolments look like in this academic year.”


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