On 8 May 2020, Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison announced a three stage COVID recovery plan to ease restrictions and restart the country’s economy.
So far Australia has succeeded in controlling the virus. In a population of 25 million there have been just over 6,900 cases and 97 deaths.
Commenting on the COVID recovery plan, the Prime Minister’s said “it is our goal to move through all of these steps to achieve that COVID-safe economy in July of this year.”
Step 3 of the plan anticipates the return of international students.
International education is one of Australia’s biggest exports, bringing in over A$40 billion each year to the country’s economy, and supports 250,000 jobs.
Phil Honeywood, the Chief Executive of the International Education Association of Australia, said the sector had ‘taken heart’ from the Prime Minister’s announcement.
It is clear that, if international students do return to Australia in July, the process will be very tightly controlled. The Prime Minister said:
…it must be done according to those strict quarantine restrictions and how that’s done, and how those costs are met.
National newspaper, The Australian, reported that international student arrivals in July would be a pilot for bigger groups to arrive later in 2020 and early in 2021. Students arriving in July could start courses in the second semester.
Phil Honeywood told The Australian how he thought the plan would work:
Clearly any new cohort of students would only be approved based on our health officials’ advice. In all likelihood this would translate to (students coming from) a limited number of countries that were deemed to have contained the virus adequately to allay health and political concerns.
COVID recovery: is your institution ready?
As international education markets around the world slowly start to re-open in the coming months, competition for international student enrollments will be intense.
It’s unlikely that your international recruitment team will have the freedom to travel to engage with potential students face-to-face – at least not for a while. In that environment, a solid and productive education agent network will be critical.
If your institution needs to build or strengthen its education agent network, AgentBee offers an education agent network building solution which requires $0/zero upfront investment.