Ram Khatry I 15 July 2020 I Government records show only a small percentage of Nepalese and Indian students are currently out of Australia and hence are affected by the coronavirus travel ban.
A spokesperson for the South Australian government told southasia.com.au that only 5.5 percent Indian student visa holders and 3% Nepalese student visa holders are currently offshore and hence unable to travel to Australia for their onshore course commencement.
However, the percentage of total international students affected by the ban is significantly higher.
“The percentage of students from India and Nepal who are currently offshore is significantly lower than the total number of student visa holders for Australia who are currently offshore, which is 20%,” the spokesperson said in a response to a media query from southasia.com.au.
Citing data sourced from the Department of Home Affairs, the spokesperson revealed that only 5455 Indian and 1196 Nepalese students are currently out of Australia.
Southasia.com.au questioned the government why, every time when there is a conversation about special arrangements to return international students to Australia amidst the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the focus appears to be on students in South East Asia and not South Asian countries like Nepal and India. The question becomes pertinent because India and Nepal are the second and third largest exporters of international students to Australia.
The South Australian government representative assured that there was no focus on one particular “market”.
Despite the resurgence in Covid-19 cases in some states, the South Australian government is still hopeful about an early return of international students and is working closely with universities and other education providers on “appropriate plans to return students from a range of markets to South Australia”.
“The South Australian government and our education providers are focused on supporting all international students, both onshore and offshore. For onshore students facing hardship, the government announced in April the International Student Support Package valued at $13.8million. We know that many onshore Indian and Nepalese students have been supported through the package, and are also receiving support through the fantastic efforts of the Indian and Nepalese communities in South Australia,” the spokesperson further added.
77 percent international students do not mind being quarantined
According IDP Connect, more than three quarters of international students who participated in its June 2020 survey stated that they would not mind taking part in quarantine programmes so long as it allowed them to commence on-campus learning.
According to the study released by IDP Connect which is a division of global education specialists IDP Education, students with current offers from universities are holding on to their international education goals, despite prolonged travel bans and global lockdowns due to COVID-19.
IDP Connect said confidence level of international students has gone up since its last survey with 74 percent expecting to commence their studies as planned against 69 percent back in April.
The survey, based on participation of students who hold current offers to Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand universities, also revealed that students are now warming up to the concept of a blended online and face-to-face delivery mode for their education, IDP Connect claims in a press statement.