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Premier’s call on international students the right one for the State’s economy

The peak body for NSW and ACT universities has welcomed the recent announcement from the NSW Government to allow international students to return to NSW from mid-2021.


"We are grateful for this opportunity and thank Premier Gladys Berejiklian MP for her strong support of the sector. The universities also wish to thank the Treasurer, the Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP, and Study NSW for their dedication and extraordinary efforts," said the Convener of the NSW Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, Professor Barney Glover AO.

"The State’s universities have been working very collaboratively with the Government for over 12 months to develop a plan for the safe reintroduction of our international students to our local communities.

"The economic and cultural benefits of international students to the state of New South Wales are well understood by the NSW Government.

"International students introduce different cultural and community perspectives and are important members of our academic community. They also create tens of thousands of jobs in sectors like tourism, retail and hospitality that are vitally important to our local communities and will help us accelerate out of the COVID-19 induced recession.

"For the universities' part, this industry-led, and funded plan allows us to safely welcome back our students who have been stuck overseas due to the pandemic and are keen to continue their studies with us in person."

The Convener explained that the universities will focus first on students who are in desperate need to progress their studies, for example in the disciplines of medicine, science, engineering, teaching, nursing and midwifery, and Higher Degree Research.

"The Government’s success in managing the COVID-19 pandemic gives it the opportunity to strategically position NSW and Australia as the preferred destination for international students around the globe. But we need to act quickly. Students keen to study overseas are making decisions now about where they can go in 2022," said Professor Glover.

"Ensuring Australians are safely able to return home and allowing international students to come back are both important milestones in our State’s recovery."

Noting that the next step is for the Commonwealth Government to review the NSW Plan, the Convener urged the Commonwealth Government to expedite this review and support the State's efforts.


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