With a recent announcement made by the federal education minister and Victorian premier about the impossibility of international students returning this year, many universities and colleges fear losing almost 1/4th of their enrollments.
Several universities told Guardian Australia that the current shut-out of international students would harm the Australian economy, as well as the potential research ability of universities.
On Friday, Iain Watt, deputy vice-chancellor (international) of Sydney University of Technology, said that Australian culture as a whole “will be worse because international students are absent.” “One choice could be to quarantine students in student housing,” said a spokeswoman for the Australian National University.
“We have already seen that in the early days of Covid-19, we can efficiently return students to school in Canberra using quarantine provisions in on-campus student housing, including students from domestic hotspots and international students,” she said.
Earlier, the Victorian government said, “it was negotiating with the federal government to bring back students to the community,” and Phil Honeywood, CEO of Australia’s International Education Association, said colleges and students had volunteered to pay the taxpayer for quarantine at no expense.
Sai Anam, an international student – studying in Melbourne, told the Guardian Australia on Tuesday that after three years of study and paying more than $50,000 on college and visa fees, he was abruptly shut out of Australia.