Inviting internationals does not mean they will accept

The Victorian Opposition wants the state government to fund quarantine accommodation so international students can come to study

Good-o, but you could welcome them with a brass band at Tullamarine and put them up at Government House and they still won’t come unless campuses are open – that means libraries and lectures, cafes and pracs – the lot.

Independent Higher Education Australia proposes a “COVIDSafe corridor” for international students to return, when safe campus operations and face-to-face teaching arrangements have commenced for domestic students and onshore international students, (CMM Friday).

But what works for people already committed to Australian unis may not work for new students from next year, or the year after. As IDP head Andrew Barkla warns (CMM May 26); “our words and actions matter. Students are tuned into domestic conversations. Nationalist rhetoric is heard by students and their parents around the world. While we commend how our nation has protected its people, we need to be careful this does not come at the cost of a hard-won – and long-held – image as a welcoming and cohesive community.”