Covid-19 had taken a step back before making a return with the Omicron variant. But now, the world knows how to deal with it better and Australia has opened its doors to foreign students again.
The year 2021 will be remembered as a watershed moment in the history of international higher education. The announcement of the opening of borders has brought back the hope of many aspiring students choosing an offshore country as their education destination.
Here’s why this is a good time to study in Australia.
Australia opens its arms wide for international students
Education is a big economic sector for Australia and international students, including tens of thousands of Indians, contribute AUD 31 billion annually to the country’s economy and support about 2,50,000 jobs.
The focus of all varsities is now to safeguard the future of aspirants keeping in mind 21st-century skills and upcoming industry demands.
The transition from online to on-campus
For example, talking about Victoria, students will be arriving in a community where 92 per cent of everyone age 12 and above is doubly vaccinated and understands the importance of keeping their community safe.
Campus corridors may not buzz the same as before because of the pandemic restrictions, which is important to keep in mind the safety, yet the physical aspect of touch, feel, and understanding will now be there.
The higher institutions of learning are now aimed to concentrate on bridging the gap of what was missed in the past 20 months and offer the academic life as desired and required by aspirants of international education.
Most of the Australian universities are following practices including providing welcome packages to returning students, free airport pickups, pre-departure information sessions and more.
Visa regulation and work permit
There has been a very strong recognition in Australia of the relationship between quality education, employability of the graduates, and the contribution they can make to the Australian economy.
So, employability opportunities for promising candidates are many, with work permits from the government in place. Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders who have been unable to travel to Australia because of Covid-19 international border restrictions will be able to apply for a replacement visa.
This will allow current and former Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders whose visas expired on or after February 1, to re-apply for a new subclass 485 visas of the same duration as their original visa.
Additionally, the Morrison Government will increase the length of stay on the Temporary Graduate visa from two to three years for a master’s degree by coursework graduates, matching that of master’s degree by research graduates.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector graduates will also receive a two-year Temporary Graduate visa.
Emerging sectors and careers
The focus of both the countries is on employability and to tab the growth sectors and growth industries in the Australian and Indian economies.
Areas like cyber security, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science are the emerging ones.
Besides, health and allied health services like the care sector including age care, childcare, etc have a huge demand for professionals with proficiency.
Both countries’ collaboration promises a secure future
The Australian government recommits itself to a very strong and vibrant international education sector, placing students from across the globe at the core of its strategy.
In one of the online events, Mathew Johnston, Minister Counsellor (Education and Research) for South Asia, Australian High Commission said, “The strategy is not just about valuing what has come in the past in terms of international students, but also looking into the future that how we could support our students and diversify on the modes of learning for better employability.”