The impact of the Novel Coronavirus on the independent tertiary education sector is currently being
assessed in order to develop strategies to support both students and providers. The lead role is being
undertaken by the Independent Tertiary Education Cou ncil Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing
independent providers in the higher education, vocational education, training and skills sectors.
“The global spread of the Novel coronavirus will have a significant impact on Australia’s international
edu cation sector, particularly with reference to the travel restrictions on Chinese students. ITECA’s focus
is on ensuring that the independent tertiary education sector is able to support these students through
their current difficulties and into the future,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.
Australia’s independent tertiary education sector enjoy s a strong international reputation for quality.
Independent providers support around 90% o f all inter national students undertaking vocational
education and tra ining.
Australian Government data for February 2020 suggests that the vocational education and training sector
was set to support some 13,604 students that were residents of China. Of these some 10,935 are already
in Australia with a further 2,669 holding a student travel visa still outside the country.
“Our interest is in supporting the se students through the current difficulties and ensuring that when
current travel restrictions are li fted, the students are able to undertake their studies in Australia and
access the quality outcomes that independent providers offer,” Mr Williams said.
ITECA is also working with its members to ascertain the impact that the Novel corona virus is having on
their day -to-day operations.
“The Australian Government’s engagement with ITECA on this matter has been first -rate. As new
challenges arise, we’ll collaborate with the Australian Government on developing an appropriate
response,” Mr Williams concluded.
ITECA is a participant on the ‘Australian Govern ment Council for International Education – Global
Reputation Taskforce ‘ which is considering future challenges to the reputation and operation of the
sect or arising from both the Novel coronavirus outbreak and the bushfire crisis.