International Students May Return to Queensland Next Year

Queensland Australia

Queensland has announced that it is planning to welcome back fully vaccinated international students in 2022. Under the plan, a group of 250 students will be permitted to return to the state every two weeks.

In a Twitter post, the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that international students will be the first to complete quarantine at the Regional Quarantine Facility at Wellcamp, near Toowoomba, which is still under construction, reports.

“Students will be required to be fully vaccinated and a proportion of students will study at universities outside of Brisbane,” she wrote on Twitter.

👩‍🎓👨‍🎓 International students are returning to Queensland next year.@UQ_News Vice Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry and @QUT Vice Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil are excited to welcome students back in 2022 📚

— Annastacia Palaszczuk (@AnnastaciaMP) October 26, 2021

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe also confirmed in the Parliament that students will be able to return and continue their studies in the state next year, pointing out that the latter must prove they are fully vaccinated.

But, the Queensland plan over the return of international students still needs to be approved by the federal government.

“Our Queensland student arrival plan has been sent to the federal government for approval. This will see the return of international students to study in Queensland in 2022,” Hinchcliffe said, adding that students who study medical or allied health degrees will be a priority.

Hinchcliffe said that 2022 is expected to be the year of rebuilding and recovering international education, starting in January with the first semester.

The minister pointed out that more than 20,000 international students were enrolled in Queensland but had to continue their studies from home, while the industry contributed $5.8 billion to the economy.

According to a spokesperson from the federal government, the Queensland plan will be assessed in line with the federal protocols and preconditions.

International students enrolled at Australian universities have studied online for some 19 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the government has announced recently that students will be able to return to the country from early December 2021.

New South Wales program to return international students has received the government’s approval, and some 250 students will also return each fortnight under the plan, starting early December 2021.

All students who enter Australia will have to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recognized vaccine.

At the same time, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) announced that it will welcome back international students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the start of the 2022 academic year.  

ACT government said that students who have received an approved vaccine will not have to quarantine but must follow Australian government vaccination and testing requirements after they return to Australia.

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