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More international students return to NSW communities

NSW is welcoming back even more international students into the state after federal border restrictions were lifted.



Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney and Minister for Trade and Industry Stuart Ayres said the first cohort of 266 students, returned under the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan, are already enjoying being back in their communities across the state, with another two flights scheduled to arrive on 24 December and 9 January 2022.

“In addition to bringing whole flights of students back to complete their studies, it’s fantastic that all other vaccinated students can also now return by other means, outside of our concentrated efforts,” Mr Ayres said.

“I am delighted to welcome international students back to our communities and see them enjoying our cafes and parks, reuniting with friends and working in our businesses.

“Prior to the pandemic, international education was our largest service export and our second most valuable export overall, worth $14.6 billion to the local economy in 2019.

“Now that they are able to return, we’re actively working to build returning students’ employability and reconnect them with available job opportunities, such as the thousands of hospitality roles that were previously held by international students.

“With student numbers increasing, I’m sure everyone would agree that NSW will feel more like the NSW we know and love.”

Mr Ayres said that with international borders now open, it was important to revisit the NSW Government’s approach to re-energise the international education sector.

“Developed in consultation with the NSW international education sector and led by Investment NSW, the NSW International Education Recovery Strategy lays the foundation for the sector’s recovery to ensure that NSW continues to be Australia’s first-choice destination for international students.”

Outlined in the strategy are four key pillars;

  • expediting the return of international students to NSW
  • promotion and marketing of our great study destinations and experiences
  • ensuring the student experience is memorable and positive beyond the classroom walls
  • developing the international education ecosystem for sustainable long-term growth.

“We’ve worked hard with the sector to deliver on the first ambition, now it’s time to ramp up our promotion and marketing of our NSW experience to drive new enrolments from across the globe.

“To do this, the NSW Government is expanding its offshore network with appointments of in-market education specialists across a range of territories. We’re now active in Jakarta and are looking at expansion across India, ASEAN and Latin America by the end of 2022.”

Professor Barney Glover AO, Convener of the NSW Vice-Chancellors’ Committee welcomed the eased border restrictions, and said that work was underway across the NSW education sector to work with the NSW Government on efforts to revive the sector.

“Universities welcome the Federal Government’s decision to reopen borders to skilled migrants and international students as of today,” Mr Glover said.

“This is an important milestone for the broader economy, getting students back on campus will mean we can support the student experience and resume traditional face to face learning.”

The flight arriving into Sydney on 24 December is expected to return approximately 250 students from South Asia and India, and nearly 200 students from China on 9 January.

To read more about the NSW International Education Recovery Strategy visit www.study.sydney/about.