Here is some positive news, coming directly from the island continent amid the coronavirus pandemic crisis. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, while announcing a three-step process for exiting the lockdown, shared that international students may be allowed to travel to Australia despite the travel ban, from July 2020 onwards. However, students will have to strictly adhere to quarantine rules.
Australia’s exit plan has three stages. Stage 1 will allow local and regional travel; Stage 2 will permit travellers to move across states; Stage 3 will be more relaxed and will permit movement across the pacific island as well as entry of international students in Australia.
Morrison stated that there is a possibility for international students being exempted from the strict travel ban that has been put in place due to coronavirus, and that his government will be working together with educational institutes to devise a concrete plan for the same. He further said that the government plans to make sure that Australia’s economy is up and running, and will have to tread with caution in the coming weeks.
Many people are in favour of the Government’s move to save the higher education industry since it amounts to AU$40 billion per year of revenue. Julian Hill, one of the MPs said in an interview that if Canada could admit international students, so could Australia. Even the CEO of Universities Australia, Catriona Jackson backed this move and said that they would be happy to welcome students from home/abroad for face-to-face learning, only when it is safe for everyone. The President of AAERI, Ravi Lochan Singh said that Indian students may not go for the July intake but the October/November intake will definitely see fresh enrolments from the Indian subcontinent.
As Australia begins the re-opening process, PM Morrison will keep a close eye on it and will examine the progress every three weeks. He said that things may go downhill from here but Australia as a nation cannot allow its fear to overrule them and hence, will continue to advance.