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Is the delay in the return of international students impacting the economy?

Team Veye | 05 Jul 2021

Is the delay in the return of international students impacting the economy?

When the Covid-19 pandemic was playing havoc in many countries, Australia was one of the very few countries that kept the virus at bay. Early closure of borders and strict quarantine was mainly credited for this.

Australia’s economy is recovering fast from the Covid-19 pandemic and coming on track. The only notable exception, however, remained the country’s education sector with international students unable to return due to border restrictions.

The wait for the prospective foreign students set to pursue study in Australia is getting prolonged. The students who want to study at Australian Universities have been waiting impatiently for the border restrictions to lift. As many as, an estimated 30% of the student visa holders were still outside the country.

Australia has always been priding itself on its education system, with small class sizes, a high standard of facilities and a range of programs to support educational development. No wonder, twelve of the top universities in the world are here.

Ever since the closure of borders in March last year, Universities in different states have been making different plans to get international students back and then quietly shelving these,

The education sector has served as Australia’s largest single economic contributor in 2018-19, with year-on-year growth of AU$5 billion. International education was worth A$40.3 billion in 2019, making it the country’s fourth-biggest export.

According to The Australian Bureau of Statistics data, the impact of international students not returning soon can be gauged from the fact that for every AU$1 lost in university tuition fees, there is another AU$1.15 lost in the broader economy due to international student spending.

 

The budget delivered by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in Parliament on May 1 outlined key initiatives to support the country’s worst-hit sectors which included the education sector. It also hinted that international students could return later this year. Small phased programmes for international students are expected to commence in late 2021 and gradually increase from 2022.

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