New South Wales welcomes back returning international students
Since March 2020, Australia has had some of the most rigid border restrictions in the world. Even within the country, borders between states had been closed for months due to the alarming and constant rising of COVID-19 cases.
Given these challenges, international students have found it difficult to pursue and continue their studies in Australia. Most of these students had to put their academic plans on hold due to the strict border rules implemented since the beginning of the pandemic. Other students had to change their plans altogether.
After 18 months of careful planning, the governments of Australia and New South Wales have approved a major student return pilot that will allow a maximum of 250 international students, every fortnight, to safely return to New South Wales to continue their studies. The NSW pilot is the second government-approved pilot, following a similar pilot effort in South Australia approved in June 2021.
The NSW pilot program is ready to welcome the first batch of international students in December 2021. It is important to note that students are eligible for the program only if they are:
invited by their participating higher education institutions
All returning international students will be required to quarantine in purpose-built student accommodations in Sydney to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission. They are also required to adhere to all health and quarantine requirements established by the Australian health authorities.
The program is limited to a list of 11 participating public universities, including the University of Sydney, UNSW Sydney, Macquarie University, the University of Technology Sydney and several private providers.
Despite the strict parameters, New South Wales’ returning student pilot will be a massive step in helping thousands of returning international students pursue their academic and future career goals. Before the pandemic, 38% of Australia’s international students were studying in NSW. Now, over 57,000 enrolled international students in NSW are currently outside of Australia, unable to continue their studies due to the travel ban. The pilot seeks to help these students slowly and safely get back on track in reaching their dreams as they resume their studies in the state.
Australia continues its support and commitment to providing high-quality education to international students across the globe. Apart from providing opportunities to students, these international education programs also enrich local communities through the positive contributions of the international students in the places they study, work and live.
Learn more about Australian universities by logging into Accelerate.
Meet our first Accelerate partner from Germany and over 20 new campuses
Students have new study opportunities in Australia, Canada, the USA and, now, Germany! Among our new Accelerate partner institutions are a dual-sector university that ranks #1 for employability in Australia, a college ranked among Canada’s top 12 research colleges, affordable, high-quality institutions in the USA and a German university ranked highest for Internationality. Take a quick look at what they have in store for students.
Ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide and #1 for employability in Australia, Victoria University is one of Australia’s few dual-sector universities, offering a world-class education system to students with a flexible approach to learning and teaching for over 100 years.
Werribee, Victoria, Australia
Located in one of Victoria’s thriving modern technology precincts, it has specialised facilities for water treatment, food science, biomedical science and fire safety.
VU St Albans
St Albans, Victoria, Australia
This campus is VU’s health and nutrition research hub with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and a modern community feel.
VU Footscray Park
Footscray, Victoria, Australia
Campus facilities include restaurants & cafes, learning commons, sports science areas, a bookshop, a pool and a gym.
VU Footscray Nicholson
Footscray, Victoria, Australia
It has a relaxed and friendly environment and houses childcare facilities, a recreation centre, a library and study areas.
VU City Queen
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Comprised of two main heritage buildings as well as two smaller buildings, the campus houses law school facilities, computer laboratories and lecture theatres.
VU City King
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
This campus offers mostly TAFE courses through Victoria University Polytechnic, including courses in massage, beauty, dermal therapies and hairdressing.
VU City Flinders
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
This campus is a modern building within Melbourne’s bustling central business district, close to transportation, shopping areas, restaurants and cafes.
With an 85% graduate employment rate after 6 months (2018-2019), Conestoga College has been a leader in polytechnic education since 1967. This top-ranking college provides theoretical and hands-on training in their full-range of career-focused programs and applied research programs.
Conestoga College Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
The campus provides a range of career-focused programs related to skilled trades, hospitality and culinary arts training, information and communications technology.
Conestoga College Kitchener – Downtown
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
The campus opened in January 2020 and primarily delivers business programs to students.
International School of Management
Ranked highest for Internationality (CHE University Ranking 2020) with 75 nationalities across all ISM programs, ISM is a private, state-recognised University of Applied Sciences in Germany that has been offering high-quality, practical and career-focused management education programs.
Munich, Bavaria, Germany
Students in this campus enjoy cosmopolitan young people and traditions, urban atmosphere and rural charm. Important economic sectors include tourism, vehicle construction, electrical engineering and media.
Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Located in the heart of Europe, Stuttgart is one of Germany’s strongest economic and most innovative technological regions.
Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
One of the most important business hubs in Germany, Cologne has expanded its position as a service and logistics centre and it is currently being developed as an innovative media city.
Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany
Frankfurt is the city with the highest job density in Germany and is an important European financial and service centre.
As the cultural and economic centre of Northern Germany, Hamburg‘s structure is characterised by the service sector, in which around three quarters of all employees are working.
Oroville, California, USA
Ranked as the 4th most affordable and quality community college campus in the US (Wallethub, 2021) and 2nd in the list of EMT programs with high ROI (firescience.org, 2020), Butte College is a leader in sustainability among USA colleges, offering state-of-the-art facilities, small classes, low tuition and accessibility.
Green River College
Auburn, Washington, USA
Green River College is a two-year government-supported college which allows students to complete a four-year-bachelor’s degree by studying at the college for two years and transferring to a university to complete the remaining years of study. It has received various awards and distinctions like the prestigious Paul Simon award for Internationalisation.
Des Moines, Washington, USA
Highline College is a two and four-year public college that is attractive for its low cost, transferable honours program, short-term programs, small class sizes, diverse student body and dedicated faculty and staff. It was awarded the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award (2013-2016).
Fully vaccinated students can now travel to the USA
Beginning in early November, fully vaccinated travellers will be able to enter the U.S. With the soft end to the months-long travel ban, international students can finally attend their face-to-face classes in U.S. institutions.
International students from any country may travel to the U.S. as long as they observe the following guidelines:
Provide proof of vaccination before boarding a U.S.-bound airline
Present a negative COVID test that was taken no more than 72 hours before flying
Give their phone numbers and email addresses to border officials to facilitate enhanced contact tracing.
In addition to the adjustments in the travel ban, the U.S. also announced visa interview waivers for academic, vocational and exchange students applying for F, M and J visas, respectively.
According to the state department, applicants may have their visa interview requirements waived if they were previously issued any type of visa, were never refused a visa (unless the refusal was overcome or waived) and have no apparent or potential ineligibility.
Students applying for a U.S. visa for the first time must also be citizens or nationals of the countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program, which include the following:
United Kingdom (must have the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man)
While the decision to waive in-person interviews for visa applicants are currently limited to the list above, the ease of travel restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers apply to all countries. The lift of the travel ban would mean international students can now travel to the U.S. without the need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated.
This latest development means international students who have put their plans on hold can now start making plans again, and at the same time help revive some of the U.S.’ struggling industries such as the airlines, tourism and education sectors. Accelerate can help recruitment agencies find right-fit students who are looking to study in the U.S.
Currently, Accelerate has 69 partner institutions in the U.S. and over a hundred globally. If you’re interested to become our recruitment partner and access these study options, don’t hesitate to contact us.