Advancing Australia’s VET Sector – curated industry news #05 2021

 

With the return of lockdowns and the new Delta COVID-19 variant, we’ve been plunged back into the will they/won’t they return scenarios for international students yet again.

Plans for the return of international students to Australia were forging ahead last month despite the arrival of the delta variant, according to the Australian Financial Review, with the first chartered flights expected within the next two months.

Until soon after the return of international students was again ‘under threat’, with State governments potentially being forced to ‘postpone well-advanced plans to bring international students into the country after Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to halve the number of Australians allowed to return home’.

It’s hard to keep up with, but the more worrying question is: will they actually want to continue coming to study in Australia?

Experts have been quoted as saying ‘yet another aborted plan to bring in foreign students could severely damage Australia’s reputation as a destination of choice’ and even more of a concern is how international students already here are feeling – isolated, abandoned and rejected. I think we’d all agree that’s not particularly great feedback.

Changing our focus towards the future of Australian students, a very thoughtful opinion piece in The Conversation by Danielle Wood, CEO of the Grattan Institute, ponders on the results of the five-yearly update Intergenerational Report for 2021.

“It’s a useful reminder that lifting productivity, reforming age-based tax breaks, improving migration and confronting climate change are crucial to leaving a happier legacy for the next generation.”

And the outlook for education in the Intergen Report? ‘The boom years for enrolments in Australian universities are over’ according to Angela Calderon in the Campus Morning Mail and she also notes rising education inequality as a concern. More below.

The global prediction? Online learning will be a bigger priority post-pandemic. It’s believed that increased remote learning in 2020 will bring lasting changes to higher education globally, including the adoption of more online courses and programs.

That’s the most positive note we could end on this month. Stay safe and well these winter months and let’s move towards a more hopeful Spring!

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