Overseas student return plans gear up as border opening nears
Tim Dodd, Higher Education Reporter — 23 November 2021
Australian universities are working as fast as they can to bring back international students when borders open on December 1, but they face an uncertain era in which the once lucrative foreign education business faces major challenges.
Not only are there commercial obstacles from competitor countries such as the US, the UK and Canada, which allowed students to enter through much of the pandemic, but there is also the continuing threat of geopolitical instability to Australia’s largest student source market, China.
Nationwide, about 160,000 international students in universities, who would normally be on campus in Australia, are studying from their home countries. But universities and other education providers are facing logistical issues in getting students back to campus quickly.
Independent education providers, in both higher education and vocational education, have also welcomed the impending return of international students.
Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia CEO Troy Williams said his sector typically enrolled over 300,000 students a year before the pandemic.
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