International students are slow to return – South Australia

International students are slow to return – South Australia
  • Despite the reopening of borders, international student numbers remain a long way off pre-pandemic norms as the orientation week is set to begin at Adelaide’s major universities from February 21. Fully vaccinated international students entering Adelaide are required to take only an RT-PCR test before and after they arrive.
  • From November 2021 to January 2022, only a total of 56,000 international students arrived in Australia which is well below the pre-pandemic levels. The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide stated that enrollment has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels and they are on a decline.
  • Council of International Students Australia National President stated that even though the borders have reopened, students face a range of other hurdles such as flight cancellation and escalation of the pandemic in South Australia.
  • Chinese students are anxious to return due to the Omicron in Australia and they are currently celebrating Chinese New Year and want to give a bit more time with family. The Council of International Students Australia is pushing universities to provide the same level of flexibility for students as to when borders were closed.
  • Many would come after the academic year begins and some would prefer to continue with online classes. It is a disruptive situation for international students and will be a staggering return. Also, when the students, it will be a daunting few weeks for them to get back their bank account sorted, accommodation, etc.
  • The vice president of Flinders University stated that due to the pandemic related uncertainty, numbers are changing daily. New students as well as existing ones have been showing great interest to return with fresh optimism so that they’ll be able to achieve the practicals and work placements necessary to complete their degree.
  • It has been very tough to accommodate international students while adhering to such hard rules and floodgates are expected to be open in 2023. To make Australia more attractive as a study destination, the government has temporarily relaxed student visa limits and is offering refunds on visa application charges.

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