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Pilot Program to bring International Students back to Australia welcomed

Pilot Program to bring International Students back to Australia welcomed

September 24, 2021

The return of international students to Australia through the proposed pilot program has been welcomed by International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) and key stakeholders in the surrounding community.

International students have been largely barred from coming to Australia, since the start of the global Covid-19 pandemic early last year.

With vaccination rates in the state of New South Wales (NSW) climbing, ICMS is a part of a state government pilot program aimed at safely bringing international students back on to campus to resume their studies. This spells good news not only for the resumption of in-country face-to-face academic studies by international students, but also for the valued input into the community and economy that international students bring and also foreshadows the opening of the borders for international travel as a whole.

“The green light for this project is a great outcome for the independent providers involved. The unwavering commitment to this work for over a year has culminated in a highly developed plan. The plan ensures a detailed approach to seeing the safe, gradual return of international students. They have waited so long. It’s an important responsibility, and I am honoured we can work with quality key stakeholders such as FCM and Scape as we take this forward to implementation.  The NSW government is leading the way in the return of onshore international students, such an integral part of the Australian economy.  People can feel confident about this pilot, my hope is that the public are encouraged by this progress toward opening up.  Thanks also to Simon Finn, CEO IHEA, and Member for Manly James Griffin MP.” Ann Whitelock, Chairperson – ICMS Scholarships, Director – IHEA.

“We have been waiting for the day that international students can rejoin the ICMS community here in Australia,” ICMS CEO Rowan Courtney-O’Connor said.

“While we have done everything in our power to keep students feeling a part of our community – with online learning and support – nothing can replace having our students mingle among us, in our classrooms and on campus, contributing to the unique and diverse atmosphere we enjoy here at ICMS. Congratulations to Ann for ensuring ICMS’ inclusion, the ICMS community thanks you. Our international students have been missed, and we look forward to welcoming them on campus again.”

James Griffin MP, Member for Manly, welcomed moves to bring back international students.

“The safe return of international students to our local community will help support a sustainable economy for the future and is positive news for our education sector in New South Wales,” he said.

Sharing this sentiment was Manly Business Chamber President Charlotte Rimmer, who said: “International students are a vital missing piece of our economy and their gradual arrival back to our shores is sure to be welcomed by local business.”

International students have been urged to remain patient over the past year and a half while borders have remain closed. Sensing that change is afoot, ICMS students who have been outside of Australia for months spoke of their optimism that soon they may be able to resume their studies in NSW.

“I can’t wait to catch up with my international friends again,” Thai national Wiranpatchara Wongchanapai (pictured) said. She’s also looking forward to taking an “Aussie road trip” with friends once they arrive safely back in Australia.

For South African student Samantha Hardiman, she reckoned she would think “pinch me, I’m dreaming” if a pilot program could bring her to Australia to resume her studies.

“There would be shock, then relief and then uncontrollable excitement. It’s been a process of highs and lows but truly I would just feel elated,” she said.

For more information on the pilot program, ICMS students may contact [email protected]

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