As Western Australia keeps a strong stance on its hard border amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of international students have chosen to defer their enrolment to next year while some are studying online.
Curtin University confirmed that overseas students were still welcomed to enrol for next semester, and those applying from outside of Australia could pursue studies online in their home country until international travel to Australia resumes.
A spokesperson said Curtin had more than 5000 international students enrolled to study in semester two, 2020.
“While some of our international students have not been able to physically return to campus, most have continued their studies at Curtin online,” the spokesperson said.
“A number of factors have contributed to this, including the introduction of online learning supports for students who were unable to arrive physically and ensuring that we are in close and constant contact with them.”
The spokesperson also said Curtin there will be a material financial impact, in the vicinity of a $60 million shortfall in projected revenue for 2020.
About 40 per cent of that expected revenue loss relates to onshore international student enrolments.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said earlier in June, that states and territories would be working closely on a pilot basis and to enable a very controlled setting, for international students to be able to come to Australia.
South Australia is going to be the first state to welcome about 300 students next month to test the pilot proposed pilot program.
Curtin confirmed it was supportive of a carefully managed pilot project to establish and test the necessary mechanisms required for the future safe return of international students to Western Australia.
“The University has been working closely with the other WA Universities and StudyPerth, and has had discussions with the state government,” the spokesperson said.
“International students are critical to WA’s post-pandemic economic recovery and the capacity of its universities to continue delivering high quality education and research.
“Curtin looks forward to welcoming our international students to campus as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.”
Furthermore, a Department of Training and Workforce Development spokesperson said applications for all students, including overseas students have also remained open.
“TAFE International WA enrols international students for all Western Australian TAFE colleges including students studying at South Metropolitan TAFE’s Thornlie Campus,” the spokesperson said.
“Students that had new enrolments to study this current semester, and couldn’t arrive in Australia, were given the option to defer to next year or withdraw.
“The majority of students chose to defer their enrolment.
“Whilst COVID has had an impact on TAFE International enrolments, interest in studying at TAFE colleges in Western Australia remains high.
“Our hard border is in place based on the expert health advice for WA.
“We will continue to work with TAFEs in WA regarding the resumption of international students, when it is safe to do so.”