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Jobs held hostage in foreign student debate

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There are calls to provide an exemption to the national border closure for foreign students as universities suffer drastic loss of income.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has floated the idea of ‘fast-tracking’ the return of international university students to Australian shores, provided a 14-day quarantine is adhered to.

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence told Ben Fordham both the education sector and the New South Wales economy in general are at risk if restrictions on overseas arrivals aren’t relaxed.

“The University of Sydney creates 31,000 jobs a year in NSW outside the university.

“If we don’t get our international students back, 12,000 of them are at risk.”

Dr Spence is lobbying for doors to be opened to “incredibly impressive” foreign students in time for the beginning of the university’s second semester on August 24.

“Many of them have started degrees with us, but they’re waiting to finish.

“They’re people who’ve saved up their whole lives, often, for a world-class education in Australia.”

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Image: Getty