The ANU and University of Canberra (UC) have announced the introduction of a pilot program which will see the return of international students to Canberra. The program involves a select number of continuing international students returning for their studies in Semester 2.
Under the pilot program, up to 350 students will be arriving via a chartered plane and will be quarantined in hotels for a fortnight before being allowed to return to ANU and UC campuses. The program, formally approved by the Federal Government, has been carefully planned as a collaborative project between the ACT Government, the ANU and UC in an attempt to pave a way to the broader return of international students to university campuses.
The trial will be dependent on the ability of airline carriers and airports to operate in compliance with strict health and safety advice, as well as country specific travel advice. Strict protocols will be followed to ensure student health during pre-departure health checks, during their flights, transfers and the supervised quarantine period. Arrangements have been made so students in quarantine will have access to wellbeing packages, and mental health and medical assistance.
All students involved in the pilot will be students who have previously studied in Canberra, but who were unable to return due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Priority will be given to students who are in the final year of their undergraduate degree, in their honours year, or postgraduate students. Operational details and the application process are currently being finalised, it is expected that the ANU will communicate with eligible students in the near future.