Data and Its Influence on Policy Decisions1st December 2021
An announcement from the Head of Carnegie Mellon University in Australia.
I’m pleased to share this good news regarding the positive outlook for international travel to Australia. You may recall that in my previous update on 17 September, I shared the Australian government’s estimate that international travel would resume in December, once 70-80% of the 16+ population is vaccinated.
Last Friday, 1 October, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia’s international borders will already start to open next month, November, for states that have reached 80% full vaccination rates, beginning with New South Wales (which is estimated to hit this target around the 3rd week of October).
South Australia is predicted to hit the 80% vaccination target sometime in the first week of December. The PM said that the priority for international travellers will be Australians and permanent residents, followed by skilled migrants and international students.
Among the notable points that the Prime Minister made were that China’s Sinovac and India’s Covishield vaccines would be considered recognised vaccines for international travellers. This is relevant because a vaccinated international traveller would be eligible for home quarantine, which has been approved for roll-out in South Australia once it reaches the 80% target.
While there is no guidance as yet if and when home quarantine is going to be applicable to international students arriving in South Australia, this program is already being piloted for current international arrivals in Adelaide. It is hoped that this would be extended to vaccinated international students instead of them staying in medical-hotels or the proposed international student quarantine facility.
This recent development presents a clearer picture for all of you who wish to travel to Australia and study in person for the January/Spring 2022 semester. For the time being, please continue with forbearance and focus on your online studies this semester, which thankfully continues to be a highly positive learning experience.
Based on the results of the student survey last month, 68% among you said that your experience was good to excellent and 19% said it was fair. In terms of faculty interaction and support, 80% among you said it has been good to excellent. And in terms of staff support, 90% among you who have interacted with CMU-A staff said that staff have always been available and supportive. This is heartening to the faculty and staff who strive for quality in our educational delivery and we sincerely thank you all for your strong class participation and engagement.
I will provide further updates as new developments arise in the coming weeks.
Prof Emil P Bolongaita
Head and Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy & Management