Queensland has announced the return of international students to study in Queensland in 2022.
State’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said they’ll be the first to use the Regional Quarantine Facility at Wellcamp.
The Premier said Wellcamp provides the perfect solution not to displace returning Australian citizens and residents.
The state government has also announced two additional conditions:
- A proportion of students must study at universities outside of Brisbane
- Priority will be given to medical and health students who will work for Queensland health
The Premier said the decision is a win-win.
“This is why we went it alone to make Wellcamp a reality. It gives Queensland an opportunity other states don’t have,” the Premier said.
The Wellcamp facility is under construction at Wellcamp Airport.
Tourism, Innovation and Sports Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said 20,000 students enrolled with a Queensland university had been studying offshore.
“While remote learning has made it possible for students to continue Queensland university studies from their home countries, we recognise it isn’t a sustainable, long-term substitute for face-to-face tutorials and practical experience.
“We also know international students make an important contribution to the culture of Queensland cities and our regions. International students are an important source of workers for many businesses in Queensland’s regional and metropolitan areas. The absence of international students has been particularly felt in the rural, hospitality and tourism industries.”
Before the pandemic, Queensland’s international education sector was worth an estimated $5.8 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.
“We are delighted the State Government has progressed plans to bring back international students,” Professor Harding said.
“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.”