Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the re-opening of borders would give heart to the more than 130,000 international student visa holders, many of whom are already making their journey to Australia.
“At the start of the 2022 academic year, Australia can finally welcome back students from around the world, in person. Some students will return to the campus life they’ve missed, others will set foot on campus for the very first time,” Ms Jackson said.
“Our international students make a rich contribution, both to the student experience and the wider Australian community. We have missed their presence dearly and couldn’t be more delighted to welcome them back from today.”
“Universities cannot emphasise enough the immense commitment our international students have shown by studying remotely, some for almost two years. We recognise the very real effects COVID-19 has had on their wellbeing, and the resilience they have shown amidst extreme uncertainty.”
“They can now pack their bags, reunite with their peers and immerse themselves in the world-renowned university experience they chose Australia for.”
Returning students must be fully vaccinated with a TGA approved vaccine and adhere to the quarantine rules set by states and territories.
Travel bubbles with Singapore, Japan and South Korea will also facilitate returning students throughout December and January, alongside the New South Wales and Victorian pilot initiatives.
“Universities acknowledge each and every individual who has supported these students as they’ve navigated uncertainty from abroad,” Ms Jackson added.
“Similarly, we thank all of those who have worked behind the scenes to facilitate their safe return.”