LA TROBE University is ready to welcome its first batch of international students before the end of the year.
After 18 months, students from abroad are allowed to return to the Victoria campus if the federal government agrees.
The state government has submitted its student income plan and proposes that the students will be a supplement to Victoria’s existing international arrival cap so that they do not displace returning Australians.
La Trobe principal, Professor John Dewar, said he had looked forward to international students returning to La Trobe campuses.
“During these challenging 18 months, we have greatly missed our international students abroad, who make such an important contribution to our campuses in Melbourne and the Victoria region and to the many communities around them,” he said.
“I’m excited that our campuses will soon start reopening safely for both our domestic and international students on land in line with the government’s roadmap and health directives.
“We welcome the Victorian Government’s proposal to safely return some international students to Victoria this year with a path to increased arrivals in 2022, and we look forward to working closely with both governments to implement the plan.
“International students returning or starting at La Trobe this year and next can be assured of a safe and supportive environment, especially as we aim to achieve 100 percent full vaccination rates on our campuses by December.”
During phase one of the plan, there will be 120 places available each week for international university students.
Those who perform practical work to continue or complete their degrees or research students will be given priority.
“This sensible plan will gradually get students enrolled in Victorian universities, TAFEs and colleges safe in Victoria so they can begin their studies,” said Commerce Secretary Martin Pakula.
“A gradual return of international students means we can keep Victorians safe and not affect places for returning Australians.”
Universities will fund additional quarantine sites for student visa holders to cover the cost of their flights to Melbourne.
Students will be quarantined in dedicated accommodation administered by COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria.
Step two will cover arrivals of international students enrolled in TAFEs, English language courses, private colleges and colleges.
About 47,000 international students are enrolled in Victorian institutions but remain offshore because Australia’s international borders are closed due to coronavirus.
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