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International students get the green light, but peak bodies warn recovery will take time and sound policy management

Wade Zaglas, Reporter — 26 November 2021

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Article Extract:

Eligible international students will be able to re-enter Australia from December 1 this year after enduring nearly two years of closed borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some of the sector’s peak bodies warn that returning to pre-pandemic enrolment levels will take some time and sound policy management.

Troy Williams, chief executive of the Independent Tertiary Council Australia (ITECA) said that, while the announcement is welcome, the independent tertiary and training sectors have taken a hammering from the lack of international students.

“Sadly, the outcome has been entirely negative with the impact felt across the entire independent tertiary education sector. We saw significant job losses in independent higher education that, as a proportion of the workforce, easily outstripped the losses in public universities, with staff losses typically ranging from 10 per cent to 30 per cent; however, some experienced a greater decline in both administrative and academic staff,” he said.

“For independent vocational training providers supporting international students, the outcomes were even worse. It’s in this context that ITECA successfully lobbied for financial support from the Australian government to support our members.”

While ITECA’s chief believes the Australian higher education sector is well placed, he believes recovery is a few years off.


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