International students to return


Tara Murray

International students are likely to start returning to Victoria by the end of the year.

The Victorian state government announced on Friday it submitted its student arrivals plan to the federal government.

The plan provides a graduated, safe return to study in Victoria for international students, and a pipeline for continued arrivals through 2022.

Students arriving under the plan will be in addition to Victoria’s existing international arrivals cap,

Under the first stage of the plan, 120 places will be available each week for Victorian university students, prioritising those who need to undertake practical work to continue or complete their degrees, such as health and medical degree students, as well as postgraduate research students.

Universities will provide funding towards the extra quarantine places for student visa holders, with students required to cover the cost of their flight to Melbourne.

Students will be quarantined in dedicated accommodation.

The second stage will enable more places with larger-scale international student arrivals from across the sector, including those enrolled in TAFEs, english-language courses, private education providers and secondary schools.

While more than 75,000 international students from 100 countries are currently studying in Victoria, about 47,000 more remain offshore while Australia’s international borders are closed.

Trade Minister Martin Pakula said this was a sensible plan that will progressively get students who are enrolled at Victorian universities, TAFEs and colleges back to Victoria.

“A gradual return of international students means we can keep Victorians safe and not affect places for returning Australians.”