Australia may have “won the battle against COVID infections,” but it risks economic recovery if it cannot open the door to “our fourth largest export,” education, according to McKell Institute Victoria Executive Director Ryan Batchelor.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show only 360 international students arrived in January this year compared to the 91,000 in the January 2020.
“Education is our fourth largest export behind iron ore, coal and gas. Worth $37.5 billion dollars a year – about half the value of coal exports,” Mr Batchelor said.
“It’s true that many universities have made themselves too reliant on international student fees. But shutting the door and leaving prospective students stranded is cutting off our nose to spite our face.
“In September, northern hemisphere universities will start their next academic year. The success of the US and the UK’s vaccination rollout makes them a much more attractive destination than Australia.
“Who knows when our vaccine roll out will be complete, and meanwhile our international borders remain closed.
“Australia might have won the battle against COVID infections, but it risks losing the economic recovery if our vaccination and quarantine programs remain a shambles, and we can’t open the door again to our fourth largest export.
Source: Thanks msn.com