An ICEF article of 21 January outlined important observations for the first quarter of 2021.
Secretary of the Department of Health, Brendan Murphy, recently expressed his expectation for current restrictions on international arrivals to remain in place for “most of 2021”.
The weekly cap on international arrivals has been reduced from 7,500 to less than 5,000 per week, and will prioritise returning Australians over foreign nationals, including visiting students.
To date, only one pilot programme to bring in international students (to the Northern Territory) has proceeded. All other pilots (for South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria) have been suspended.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) observed that returning or continuing international students enrolled in Australia as of 15 October 2020 declined by about 13% year-over-year, to about 502,000. From this foundation, DESE estimated at least 381,546 enrolments on 1 January 2021.