- Plan to return 250 international students per fortnight to NSW universities – including Charles Sturt - from mid-2021
- Interim Vice-Chancellor says NSW Chief Health Officer-approved plan will benefit University’s students and campus communities
Charles Sturt University has welcomed the submission of a plan by the NSW Government to allow international students to return to NSW from mid-2021.
Under the plan, which has been signed off by the NSW Chief Health Officer, 250 international students from NSW universities - including Charles Sturt - will return to Australia each fortnight for two months, followed by an evaluation before scaling to larger intakes.
Under the plan the students will fly in on charter flights and quarantine in purpose-built student accommodation in Sydney for 14 days upon arrival.
Charles Sturt’s continuing international students will get a percentage of seats on those flights using a quota-sharing system based on 2019 enrolment data. It is not known at this point what that percentage will be, with the source countries to be determined by the government on the advice of NSW Health.
Priority will be given to those students who need to progress their studies in the disciplines of medicine, science, engineering, teaching, nursing and midwifery, as well as Higher Degree Research.
Under this plan there is no change to the cap for returning Australians - these places are in addition to that existing cap - and all costs will be managed by the universities.
Charles Sturt Interim Vice-Chancellor Professor John Germov said the plan would provide benefits for the students, the higher education sector and the wider community.
“Education is Australia’s largest service-based export - in 2019 international education contributed $37.6 billion to the Australian economy. It supports more than 250,000 jobs,” he said.
“Charles Sturt University is committed to providing safe, vibrant campuses and supporting all of its students. Many of our international students had their studies significantly disrupted by border closures and have been unable to progress their studies online which may have profound implications on their careers.”
“The wellbeing of all of our students remains our top priority and this plan will allow us to offer support to international students while ensuring the safety of our domestic students, staff and campus communities.”
The plan was announced on Thursday 10 June by NSW Treasurer, the Hon Dominic Perrottet and Convener of the NSW Vice-Chancellor’s Committee, Professor Barney Glover AO.
“We are grateful for this opportunity and thank Premier Gladys Berejiklian for her strong support of the sector. The universities also wish to thank the Treasurer, the Hon. Dominic Perrottet, and Study NSW for their dedication and extraordinary efforts”, Professor Glover said.
“The state’s universities have been working very collaboratively with the government for over 12 months to develop a plan for the safe reintroduction of our international students to our local communities.
“International students introduce different cultural and community perspectives and are important members of our academic community. They also create tens of thousands of jobs in sectors like tourism, retail and hospitality that are vitally important to our local communities and will help us accelerate out of the COVID-19-induced recession.”
Noting that the next step is for the Commonwealth Government to review the plan, Professor Glover urged the federal government to expedite this review and support the state’s efforts.