Australia reopened its international borders to students from Dec. 15, 2021. However, the Western Australia border restrictions mean students still cannot return as the state remains closed in a bid to keep COVID-19 out.
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan previously said the state would reopen to the rest of the country on Feb. 5, 2022, but reversed that decision. For now, only those with permission to enter can return.
In light of rising Omicron cases and the delay in the state’s border reopening, the Western Australian government is allocating A$16 million to the international education sector as part of a new support package.
Western Australia border restrictions: Quarantine support for students
Broken down into three parts, the new support package covers small and medium-sized education providers in the state, student quarantine and university services.
Student quarantine support
Following the Western Australia border restrictions, the state has allocated A$8 million for the Student Quarantine Support Programme. A total of A$2,000 payments are available to assist international students with quarantine-related costs studying at Western Australian education institutions in Semester 1, 2022.
Support for universities
The University Services for Students Support Programme aims to help cover costs such as transportation, welfare services and more with a supplementary A$500 payment for each international student. Culminating to a total allocation of A$ 2 million from the support package.
Finally, the Industry Support Programme will be providing grants for eligible Western Australian small and medium-sized education providers that have been impacted by the border closures. A total of A$6 million has been allocated to the sector; businesses can receive grants of A$50,000 and A$100,000 respectively.
“We are delighted that the government has released funding to help individuals and businesses in the international education sector during this very challenging time,” said Tara Colyer-Long, Interim CEO of StudyPerth.
“Our team has been working around the clock to help support students with programs such as our welcome pack delivery service, daily virtual drop-in sessions and free counselling support services.”