Subjects: University students returning to campus; the return of international students
The Education Minister is calling for university leaders to reinstate face to face learning. This means that Alan Tudge wants to see learning go back to normal. Alan Tudge will address the Universities Australia conference in Canberra today to tell vice-chancellors that too few students are on campus, despite a 5 per cent increase in domestic enrolment. He says some students are either only on campus one hour a week or not at all. Promising a proposal is also being considered, which would see small numbers of international students return to South Australia. Mr Tudge says 10 million international students will be studying in Australian courses in a decade’s time, which seems very optimistic at this point.
Alan Tudge joins us now live from Canberra. Thanks so much for your time.
Okay, so first of all, you want to see students in Australia back on campus. You said this a couple of weeks ago. Has that not happened?
They’re slowly returning, but they’re not returning fast enough. And I gave my speech this morning to the university leaders here in Canberra, and said very clearly that we want to see students back where students have that expectation that they enrolled in a course which would be face to face. And it’s not happening fast enough.
In some universities it is, but let’s see it happen because we need that focus on the student experience. They didn’t have a great experience last year, now for obvious reasons, so let’s focus on that this year.
So, when are you going to get these international students back? When are you going to tick off on that plan?
Well, I received a plan from Steven Marshall last Friday about South Australia’s plans. It looks promising, but we’re working through that. Obviously, we just want to make sure that it’s very safe to do so but it does look promising. New South Wales is likely to give us a proposal in coming weeks, and Victoria has given us a proposal for the introduction of economic migrants, which might include international students.
Mr Tudge, I’m sorry to interrupt you, but you’ll thank me for it because there’s a division in the house and you need to go, so we’ll try and pick this up at a later time. But thanks so much.
The division in the house, so Parliament sometimes gets in the way of AM Agenda but we can forgive him for that.