Victoria has initiated the process to receive international students by the end of the year.
Victoria will welcome international students by the end of the year under the Victorian Government’s Student Arrivals Plan, submitted to the Commonwealth for approval.
The state government says its plan provides a “graduated, safe return to study in Victoria for international students, and a pipeline for continued arrivals through 2022.”
“Students arriving under the plan will be in addition to Victoria’s existing international arrivals cap, which means they will not displace returning Australians,” said the government in a statement.
“Under the first stage of the plan, 120 places will be available each week for Victorian university students, prioritising those who need to undertake practical work to continue or complete their degrees, such as health and medical degree students, as well as postgraduate research students,” reads the statement.
The universities will provide extra quarantine places for student visa holders, and students will have to cover the cost of their flight to Melbourne.
According to the state government, the second stage will enable more places with larger-scale international student arrivals from across the sector, including those enrolled in TAFEs, English-language courses, private education providers and secondary schools.
Over 75,000 international students from 100 countries are currently studying in Victoria. In addition, 47,000 international students have enrolled with various institutions but remain offshore as Australia’s international borders are closed.
Minister for Trade Martin Pakula says a gradual return of international students means “we can keep Victorians safe and not affect places for returning Australians.”
“This sensible plan will progressively get students who are enrolled at Victorian universities, TAFEs and colleges safely into Victoria so they can undertake their studies,” said Mr Pakula.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne Professor Duncan Maskell has welcomed the plan.
“Victorian universities have been working collaboratively with the Victorian Government on a plan to facilitate the return of international students to the state,” said professor Maskell adding, “We are pleased the plan has now been submitted to the Federal Government – we look forward to Minister Tudge reviewing and approving the plan as soon as possible.”