State defends $5b foreign student lapse
Queensland has missed the deadline to restart international student programs for 2021, despite the importance of the $5 billion industry.
But Tourism and Innovation Minister Stirling Hinchliffe defended the delay, saying the priority was on getting Australians overseas home, echoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
"A significant amount of work is already under way with the international education sector, the Chief Medical Officer and the Federal Government on the logistical needs of a COVID-safe plan for returning international students including mandatory hotel quarantine," Mr Hinchliffe said.
Last week International Education Association of Australia boss Phil Honeywood warned Queensland risked losing market share to states which moved first.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said while NSW, the ACT and Northern Territory are all submitting plans this week, Victoria and South Australia have indicated they won't but are working on them, while Queensland had yet to say whether they would submit anything for approval.
"State and territory governments are responsible for the quarantine arrangements for international students in their jurisdictions and I wrote to all states and territories asking them to submit their plan for international student arrivals by the end of November," he said.
"The Commonwealth will only consider further international student pilot programs for 2021 on the basis that places under the caps, and complimentary arrangements, are being used to the maximum extent possible for returning Australians and a satisfactory rate of return of Australians is achieved."
The Council for International Education, made up of the relevant state and federal ministers, met in Canberra on Thursday and agreed to develop a 10-year plan for the industry.
"We must be prepared for more focus on offshore, online and blended learning, and a
growth in new models of delivery - such as micro-credentials," Mr Tehan said.
Originally published as State defends $5b foreign student lapse