The way forward out of the Covid-19 pandemic is becoming increasingly clear with firm plans afoot to bring international students back to Australia based on a proactive vaccination rollout in NSW and a Pilot Plan poised to unfold as soon as it is safe to do so.
Support for the Pilot Plan comes from the Australian Prime Minister, the NSW government and the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS).
The delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to the Australian population has been gathering pace, and government suggests vaccinating 80% of the population aged 16 and over should be possible by December.
Once between 70% and 80% of this segment have been vaccinated, phase B and C of the National Plan to transition Australia’s National Covid Response can kick off – this is when it can reasonably be expected that restrictions will ease, with reduced lockdowns and the opening up of borders.*
“We encourage all students, including our offshore students, to enrol into subjects for the upcoming study period. If the pilot program commences before the upcoming study period ends in early December, eligible students, based on the Government’s criteria at the time, and who are enrolled into subjects will be given priority to return to Australia,” Stuart Wiggins, ICMS Vice President (Student Engagement & Registrar), said.
“All levels of Government in Australia are now fully supportive of the return of international students to Australia and have made statements on how, and when, it can happen. With NSW vaccinating at a higher rate than any other State in Australia, this is good news for our students who won’t have to wait much longer to enter the country and get back on campus,” ICMS CEO Rowan Courtney-O’Connor said.
ICMS is located in Northern Beaches, Sydney, NSW, and in the city of Sydney.
1 – The Prime Minister of Australia supports the return of international students.
In July the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, stated that the return of international Students is a priority, within his Four Phase Plan to bring Australia out of the pandemic.
In the Prime Minister’s Plan, vaccinating the population is Phase 1 and the return of International students is in Phase 2. At ICMS we are confident that Phase 2 will be actioned sooner rather than later.
2 – The Premier of New South Wales has a plan for the return of international students.
Led by the higher education sector, the New South Wales government guided the development of a “Pilot Program” plan for the safe return of International students. The plan has been a culmination of 16 months work by participating providers and other key stakeholders. ICMS is included in this initial plan together with 4 other private providers and several universities.
3 – The Australian Minister for Education has approved the New South Wales plan.
In late July, the Australian Minister for Education, Alan Tudge, endorsed New South Wales to commence with the return Pilot Program as soon as it is “safe to do so”. What this means is that the vaccination rates in New South Wales are the key to the return of international students.
4 – Vaccination Rates are increasing every day in NSW.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has confirmed that NSW is on track to have 80% of all residents vaccinated by mid-November 2021 and will have administered six million doses in August alone.
Those numbers mean that New South Wales is now vaccinating at a higher rate than any other State in Australia, meaning that ICMS will be ready for Phase 2 and the Pilot Program. ICMS staff are also proactively getting the required vaccinations and all arrangements are in place to welcome international students back safely.
* Graphic: Department of Health (health.gov.au) 1 September 2021
For more information, visit www.icms.edu.au.