Urgent action needed to bring back international students

The Liberal Nationals are calling on the Andrews Government to urgently work with the Federal Government to facilitate safe entry for international students back into Victoria.

International education and training is Victoria’s largest service-based export. In 2018, the sector generated $11.8 billion in export revenue for the state and supported almost 79,000 Victorian jobs.

The impact of COVID-19 has hit the international education and training sector very hard in recent months, with international travel restrictions preventing many international students from arriving in Victoria to commence or return to their studies.

Our economy needs to get international students back to Victorian universities and training providers and that requires reopening borders to international students followed by 14 days of quarantine.

To aid the Federal Government in getting this done, the Victorian Liberal Nationals call on the State Government to help in subsidising affordable quarantine accommodation for international students on their arrival to Melbourne.

In order to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect our health system, it’s essential that international student arrivals are able to safely quarantine upon their arrival in Victoria.

Victoria currently hosts around one-third of international students who have chosen to study in Australia. In 2018 more than our 227,000 international students studied in Victoria, with the largest number of students visiting from China (88,400), India (50,500) and Malaysia (16,600).

Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien:

“Coming out of COVID-19 restrictions, it is critical that the Victorian Government works with the Commonwealth to help international students resume their studies and contribute to our community.

“Rebuilding Victoria’s international education sector is part of the Liberal Nationals’ Back to Work and Back in Business plan.

“Victorian jobs depend on our international students. The Liberal Nationals believe the Victorian Government must act now to secure those jobs as we enter the recovery phase.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Gordon Rich-Phillips:

“International education and training is a vital part of Victoria’s economy. Without them more Victorian jobs will be lost and our economy will continue to slump.

“Victoria needs an urgent response to the economic damage done by COVID-19, and the Liberal Nationals urge the Andrews Labor Government to adopt our plan to get Victoria back to work and back in business.”

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