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Australia opens the door

The Australian government’s surprise announcement on 22 November that international students will be allowed into the country from 1 December has left the country’s international education providers positive, but in a spin, as they wait for the 145,000 students who already hold study visas to arrive. 

The government also announced financial backing for the country’s beleaguered international education industry, which has suffered since Australia closed its borders at the beginning of the pandemic. Only a small number of students have previously been exempt from the travel ban.

The new government support includes an Aus$278 million cut in regulatory charges levied on the sector, as well as Aus$9.4 million in funding for the ELICOS sector, as language school business is called, through an Innovation Development Fund which is designed to help schools offer online and offshore courses. Enrolment at ELICOS centres has fallen 71% since August 2020 when the last cohort of students to enter Australia finished their courses. 

“The extension of the Innovation grants will help English language providers who have been hit particularly hard by Covid,” Education Minister Alan Tudge told the press.

Image courtesy of Pixabay
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Melanie Butler
Melanie Butler
Melanie started teaching EFL in Iran in 1975. She worked for the BBC World Service, Pearson/Longman and MET magazine before taking over at the Gazette in 1987 and also launching Study Travel magazine. Educated in ten schools in seven countries, she speaks fluent French and Spanish and rather rusty Italian.
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