Visa Crunch

South Australia accepts proposal enabling overseas students to return

According to local media reports, a new proposition to allow overseas students to return to South Australia is approved by SA Health and is now under review by the federal government.

Over 160 students would be brought in at a time and quarantined for 14 days at Parafield Airport in Salisbury’s northwestern outskirts under this proposal.

The State government’s chief public health officer, Nicola Spurrier, authorized the foreign student arrival plan since it passed all of the federal government’s regulations and standards, according to an ABC News story.

The country faced a significant drop in the number of international applicants as students from across the world haven’t been exempted from the travel restriction because of the stringent Australian borders.

One of the government’s spokesperson quoted “South Australia’s economy is largely dependent on international education contributing over $2 billion in 2019 which is distributed among education sector, retail, hospitality and, tourism sectors.”

Chief Executive of StudyAdelaide suggested that the plan has been backed by the Chief Health Officer and SA Police and are hopeful that it would be well received by the Federal Government once all protocols have been considered. 

However, this news is only in favor of international students studying in SA, since every territory considers individual options depending on the impact of COVID in the respective states.

Among many concerns, what bothered the state representatives from opening the borders was the safety of travelers, the community, and the people they might get in touch with regardless of the mandatory quarantine.

In March 2021, the number of international student commencements declined by 31% while the number of enrolments declined by 17%, according to government data. Australia had a total of 207,773 fewer overseas enrolments across all sectors which is a huge loss. 

The helpless students who have been unable to return to Australia have had a severe negative influence on their mental health due to anxiety. 

According to recent research by the Council of Foreign Students Australia, 93% of international students trapped overseas have had serious mental health concerns. 

“The mental health effect image depicted was extremely frightening. According to the survey, nine out of 10 students reported experiencing stress as a result of their position, with over 2-3rds reporting self-diagnosed anxiety and/or depression.”

More mental help and assistance for stuck students were requested by 91% of respondents. It also discovered that 64% of the respondents are dissatisfied with the quality and experience of online learning.

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