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Calls grow to give international students an exemption to the Australian travel ban

International students could be allowed back into Australia as early as July with the federal government confirming it will consider an exemption to the travel ban.The federal government has confirmed it will consider favouring international students from Australia’s travel ban as early as July.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed a national three-stage structure out of coronavirus restrictions on Friday that opened the door for overseas-based students to return to Australian universities.
While specifics around the exemption have not been outlined, Mr Morrison said it would only be done if strict quarantine restrictions were met.

“Issues of international students, you’ll note that it does come into the third step of the plan, that is a possibility,” he said.

Federal government

“We are open to that, and we would be working with institutions to see how that could be achieved.
“But it must be done according to those strict quarantine restrictions and how that’s done, and how those costs are met.”

At least 10 per cent of international students enrolled at Australian institutions are stuck overseas with the industry worth $40 billion a year to the economy.
Australian universities are expected to record large losses as a result of forced campus closures and border restrictions.

The international education lobby has been pushing for an exemption to travel bans for international students.

“Clearly without any international students coming into the country, Australia’s fourth-biggest industry is in a major crisis,” International Education Association of Australia CEO Phil Honeywood said.

National COVID-19 Coordination Commission Chair Nev Power stressed the importance of rebooting education as quickly as possible and suggested the possibility of university-funded charter flights to bring overseas students back to Australia.

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