BRISBANE, Oct 28: Australia’s Queensland state said on Tuesday that it plans to welcome International Students from 2022 and a relevant plan has been sent to the federal government.
Under Queensland’s Students Arrivals Plan, all the international students must be fully vaccinated and they will use the Regional Quarantine Facility which is under construction at Wellcamp Airport, to the west of Brisbane.
Students studying in the medical or allied health fields would be prioritised.
“While remote learning has made it possible for students to continue Queensland university studies from their home countries, we recognize it isn’t a sustainable, long-term substitute for face-to-face tutorials and practical experience,” the state’s Tourism, Innovation and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.
He added that the plan is the first phase of scaling up from semester one and will see more students return to Queensland over time.
The decision is also viewed as a lifeline for the state’s universities.
Before the pandemic, Queensland’s international education sector was worth an estimated A$5.8 billion ($4.35 billion).
Professor Sandra Harding, vice chancellor and president of James Cook University, and chair of the Queensland Vice Chancellor Committee, said the sector had worked collaboratively with the state government.
“These students have been studying online for almost two years waiting to return to Queensland and many of them need to undertake important practical assessments to complete their studies.
“International students are such a vibrant part of all of our campuses and communities, and we look forward to welcoming them back to our state.”