IHEA Welcomes the NSW Announcement that International Students Will Begin Returning to Australia this December

Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA) welcomes the announcement that New South Wales will begin a pilot program to return offshore international students to Australia this December.

"IHEA is delighted that the NSW government has announced commencement of a pilot to resume arrivals of international students. This is an important milestone in the journey toward national, large-scale resumption of international student arrivals and industry recovery,” said IHEA CEO, Simon Finn.

The pilot is funded by industry, with the support of NSW Government and endorsement of the Australian Government. The pilot will enable 250 international students to return each fortnight to study in NSW from December this year. All international students who return to Australia must be fully vaccinated with a TGA recognised COVID-19 vaccination and will quarantine in purpose-built student accommodation in Sydney.  

“The announcement is great news for the independent higher education sector and comes after more than 12 months of hard work, and a substantial investment of institutional resources, by IHEA and its members,” Simon Finn said. 

“Last year, we formed the IHEA International Industry Group giving members an opportunity to participate in the pilot. From this, IHEA members the International College of Management Sydney (ICMS), Kaplan, Navitas, and RedHill Education join with Study Group and NSW universities in the pilot to progress the first arrival of international students into NSW since the pandemic closed our borders. 

“The participation of IHEA members in this pilot recognises the contribution of independent higher education to the national economy.

“There’s still a lot of hard work to go before international students touch down in Australia in December, but the announcement is as a critical step toward industry recovery and a precursor to a scaling up of arrival numbers across Australia in 2022.”

Media Contact: Matthew Coote, IHEA Communications Manager (Acting) via matthew.coote@ihea.edu.au

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