A COVIDSafe Corridor – National Protocols for the Resumption of International Student Travel

IHEA welcomes the National Cabinet’s Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia, including consideration of the conditions under which international student travel can recommence.

International education is Australia’s third largest export industry contributing $38 billion to our national economy and generating 250,000 jobs. A resumption of student travel is critical to the recovery of Australia’s economy and the jobs and livelihoods of Australian workers and their families.

IHEA proposes a COVIDSafe Corridor for international student travel comprising four elements: national protocols; pilot programs; provider principles; and participation of independent providers in pilots.

1. IHEA proposes national protocols to establish a COVIDSafe Corridor to facilitate the safe entry of international students to Australia.

2. HEA proposes pilot programs of targeted cohorts be considered for implementation in late 2020 to inform careful planning and testing of the COVIDSafe Corridor.

3. IHEA has endorsed principles for our member institutions seeking to participate in COVIDSafe Corridor pilot programs and the resumption of international student travel.

4. Independent higher education providers are particularly well positioned to participate in COVIDSafe pilot programs.

IHEA CEO - Simon Finn:

“All Australians benefit from the contribution of international students and their families to our national economy. The international education industry needs to be fully operational in time for Australia’s major annual student commencement period in early 2021 for Australia to be competitive with northern hemisphere education destinations commencing classes later in the year.


“Continued travel restrictions on international student travel beyond the early 2021 intake will result in further job losses and longer-term unemployment for thousands of Australians.


“IHEA’s high quality independent higher education members are perfectly placed to facilitate a limited trial intake of international students in a pilot program, where late-year admission dates and small class sizes enable them to provide a flexible, high quality learning experience while monitoring the health of the students under their ongoing care.


“IHEA’s proposed pilot programs will enable the COVIDSafe Corridor for international student travel to be tested and evaluated to ensure the safety of all Australians and our visitors in advance of the resumption of broader student intakes in early 2021.”

Read more in the full statement:

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