Sydney ready for international students in 2021 (maybe earlier)

The minister responsible for Sydney’s hotel quarantine is keen to get going

Stuart Ayres told the Australian Technology Network’s international education conference yesterday that NSW could bring international students back, before borders open to visitors.

As minister for jobs and tourism Minister Ayres has charge of the state’s hotel quarantine programme for Australians returning from overseas, which has housed 60 000 people.

“There’s lots of lessons that we have learnt from that quarantine experience that we have been sharing with vice chancellors that we think will allow us to re-open our international student markets sooner rather than later,” he told the Australian Technology Network’s international education conference yesterday.

A 14 day quarantine for international students “is quite manageable,” Mr Ayres said, adding they could return to study in Australia, “perhaps sooner than people had imagined.”

“There’s no reason why Australia can’t be welcoming … I foreshadow that we will be open to borders to international students through a quarantine regime much earlier than we will be able to open borders to tourists.”

Mr Ayres a date “is being worked through now” but suggested he is working towards, “the start of 2021.”

But if the state could safely open-up earlier, “I don’t want to rule that out,” he added.

Now all he has to do is convince the PM and Premier, who will need to convince the voters.