The Federal Government announcement to allow international students and other eligible visa holders back to Australia from 1 December will help to rebuild Australia’s global reputation as an attractive destination for international students according to IDP Education, a leader in global education services.
Andrew Barkla, Chief Executive Officer at IDP, says that this is welcome news for Australia’s international education sector, which has faced significant challenges due to the closure of its international borders.
“This announcement marks a significant positive step for students who have patiently held onto their study abroad dreams. Australia now needs to ensure that those students are provided appropriate and timely support in order to repay their patience and show them the value of an Australian education. IDP is grateful to its students for their perseverance throughout this difficult period. Our teams are working hard to ensure students have the right information and can now progress their arrival into Australia as soon as possible.”
Mr Barkla also commented on the importance of the announcement for potential students considering Australia as a destination.
“Our Crossroads research series has demonstrated that those countries that failed to provide clarity on the timing of border openings experienced a decline in perceived attractiveness as a study destination. The Government’s announcement now reassures students that Australia is a viable study destination and that they can plan for a high-quality study and cultural experience with confidence,” Mr Barkla said.
Mr Barkla said that while this was a welcome concrete step, Australia is playing catch-up in a globally competitive industry. Other destinations have already embraced international students, and established attractive post-study work policies to ensure these students and their valuable skills remain in the country after they graduate.
“We hope this announcement by the Australian Government is followed by further initiatives that attract and retain international students. Australia needs more young, globally minded talent to drive our recovery from the pandemic and policies such as post-study work rights and migration incentives need to be a part of our Government’s national strategy.
“Our New Horizons research showed that employment opportunities were strong drivers that could be used to influence which courses and in which countries students chose to study. In order to build confidence in a diverse recruitment opportunity for Australian institutions, while also addressing the nation’s urgent skills shortage, a long-term strategy must be shared soon. This is critical to ensure Australia can remain an attractive study destination for future generations to come.”
*On November 29 the Government announced a delay to opening the border to vaccinated international students and temporary visa holders to December 15.