Urgent plan needed for international students

The Liberal Nationals are again calling on the Andrews Labor Government to urgently put a plan in place for the safe return of international students to Victoria.

New South Wales and South Australia have both had their submitted plans approved by the Federal Government, whilst Victoria has languished with no plan.

The Liberal Nationals first called for a plan in November last year and put forward positive ideas that could see the safe return of students, including:

  • Establishing a pilot program for small numbers of international students to return;

  • Scaling up the numbers of international students in a COVID-safe way;

  • Additional quarantine capacity for returning students.

The number of job losses in Victorian universities now number over 8,000 on the back of 247 days in lockdown and the loss of international students.

There have been huge decreases in enrolments in Victoria, as other states and territories start to open up to international students.

International students are vital for Victoria’s economy, sustaining 80,000 jobs. The Victorian international education market was worth $14 billion a year pre-COVID.

For the sake of Victorian jobs, our universities and our small businesses – the government must urgently implement a plan for the return international students.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Training and Skills, Matt Bach:

“The Andrews Labor Government said it was developing a plan for the return of international students 14 months ago but still Victoria has no plan.

“All the while, Victorian universities are bleeding enrolments by the day, whilst other states have plans in place.

“A Victorian plan is now a matter of the utmost urgency to get our state back on track.”