A One-Day Conference – Coronavirus and its Impact on International Students: International Education in the Time of Global Disruptions.

Coronavirus and its Impact on International Students: International Education in the Time of Global Disruptions

A One-Day Conference

RMIT University (Melbourne)

10 February 2021

Conveners: Catherine Gomes (RMIT) and Helen Forbes-Mewett (Monash University)

The year 2020 will go down in history as the year that got cancelled due to a global pandemic that disrupted global and local systems in an unprecedented and rapid manner. In a relatively short time, the COVID-19 coronavirus became a pandemic with devastating effects on societies, governments and economies world-wide as it challenges the normality of everyday life. Starting out in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus’ lack of discrimination about who and where it infects has had an exceptional impact on international education as destination countries and service providers were some of the early casualties of this evolving health crisis. The result has been almost daily decisions being made about course delivery options with online delivery being the best possible teaching and learning route in the wake of travel bans, self-quarantine and social distancing in order to limit the spread of the virus on destination country populations. International students have been subject to job losses, been unable to pay their rent or buy food for themselves. Meanwhile international students, especially those from China and of East Asian descent have been reporting heightened racism and xenophobia directed their way. While institutions, governments (federal, state and local) and various parts of the community.

While COVID-19 has become the quickest acting disruptor the world has ever seen, what are the effects of both the pandemic and the decisions made by governments and education stakeholders on international education? How can international education move forward and what can it do to futureproof itself in the event of another global disruptor? How have international students been impacted by institutional, government and community responses to the pandemic? How have international students dealt with these responses? What role has social media played in the way international education and international students are viewed in destination and sender countries? What are the directions and measures international education stakeholders have been taking during the pandemic? What are the directions and measures international education stakeholders should take in order to support international students after the pandemic ends? What lessons are to be learned from the disrupting impact of the pandemic? Is there any fallout from directions and decisions made in response to the pandemic?

While the COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving crisis, it is one that reveals how international education and international students have become ‘disrupted’ in many ways. This conference aims to not only critically examine the impact of a global disruptor on policies, procedures, operations and people around international education but also to open discussion on the direction of future policy and practice in this space. We thus seek papers addressing but not limited to the following issues:

  • The impact of institutional, government and community responses on international students
  • The challenges, strategies and resilience of international students in the face of a global health crisis and institutional, government and community responses
  • The impact of a pandemic on the future of internationalization
  • Supporting international students during and post-pandemic
  • The impact of institutional, government and community responses on stakeholder staff and domestic students
  • The impact of a pandemic on international student employment and employability
  • Communication in a time of crisis
  • Racism and xenophobia perceived
  • Safety and security
  • Welfare and Wellbeing
  • The impact of the pandemic on study and non-study aspects of the international student experience
  • The future directions and measures of international education to support international students

When: Wednesday, 10 Feb 2021

Where: RMIT University


Abstracts due: 1 Aug 2020

Decision on abstracts: 30 Aug 2020

Full papers due 1 Feb 2021

There will be an opportunity to submit invited papers for publication as a special issue or an edited collection.

Please refer to the conference website for more information: https://impactinternationalstudentscorona.wordpress.com/


The ISANA International Education Association is pleased to announce the release of the National Code Tutorial


Contact:            Bronwyn Gilson

Telephone:        0400 852 226

Email:               president@isana.org.au

Website:           www.isana.org.au

The ISANA International Education Association is pleased to announce the release of the National Code Tutorial instructional tool.

“ISANA , supported by the Australian Government’s Enabling Growth and Innovation Program (EGI), has developed and will host a National Code Tutorial to deliver a tool for international education professionals to understand and meet their obligations under the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (the National Code)” says Bronwyn Gilson, ISANA National President.

“This tool provides an interactive and well-referenced content that will cover each of the International Education industry sectors and will test the users’ understanding of the National Code’s compliance requirements through scenarios and quizzes”.

ISANA’s members work at educational institutions and organisations (public and private) in a wide range of roles covering international student services and support, advocacy, teaching and policy development. Since 2007 an ISANA developed Tutorial had been used by industry professionals to acquire knowledge of the National Code. With the introduction of the National Code 2018 ISANA secured a 2018 Enabling Growth and Innovation Program (EGI) grant to develop a new and interactive tool.

“With development supported by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, the National Code Tutorial will be a useful tool for international education industry professionals to ensure they are compliant with the National Code” said Gilson.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank the ISANA Project team led by Mary Ann Seow (Project Officer), Molly Bonnefin, Bronwyn Gilson and Phoebe Thiessen (Secretariat); Paula Durance, Danielle Hartridge and Jack Dunstan from IEKnowledgebase, and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Link to access the National Code Tutorial: http://www.isana.org.au/national-code-tutorial/

If you would like more information about this topic, contact Bronwyn Gilson at 0400 852 226 or email president@isana.org.au or ISANA Secretariat nct@isana.org.au

The Path to Renewal – A webinar for Australia’s International Education Sector

This webinar aims to provide an update on the impact of COVID-19 across the international education sector, our response and a path for renewal.

Key Australian government department representatives will provide an update on the current situation, information on the support available across the sector and plans to support the recovery and renewal of the sector.

When:          4.00 – 5.00PM AEST, Thursday 11 June

Topics covered include:

  • How the sector has been impacted
  • Support for providers, agents and business
  • Support for onshore and offshore students
  • Visa conditions update
  • Education delivery update
  • An overview of Australia’s new ‘nation brand’
  • Plans and initiatives for renewal

Who should attend?

  • International education sector representative including: providers, agents and sector suppliers


  • Rebecca Hall, Head of International Education Centre of Excellence, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)
  • Matthew Noble, Director, Student and Graduate Visas Section, Department of Home Affairs
  • Warwick Miles, A/Director ESOS Systems and Support, Department of Education, Skills and Employment

To Register

Please register through WebEx at: www.austrade.gov.au/event/pathtorenewal

NSW Government to fund crisis accommodation for international students through coronavirus pandemic

The NSW Government has announced it will fund temporary crisis accommodation for stranded international students.

The $20 million package includes a temporary housing scheme delivered through approved student accommodation or homestay providers.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said increased support would also be provided via the International Legal Service NSW, while free advice would be available from a new 24/7 international student support service through the NSW Government COVID-19 hotline.

The support service will offer free advice and information about other measures, including the moratorium on rental evictions and medical, mental health, legal and emergency support.

“International students are an integral part of our communities and our economy,” Mr Lee said.  Read more

New resources for CALD communities – Victoria

Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) CLICK HERE for information on Financial support, emergency relief and health and wellbeing services for CALD communities

Videos which are now live:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriapolice/videos/2271910573118456/?v=2271910573118456

Victoria Police Internet: https://www.police.vic.gov.au/family-violence-there-no-excuse

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL76a1Le9-C8efc6c169_tpgkrFamI4_2U

Department of Education and Training – Victoria

Translated information on staged return to on-site teaching and advice for parents, carers and guardians: 

The Department has translated key information for parents and carers regarding the staged return to on-site schooling into 23 community languages:

Staged return to on-site teaching: advice in your language

The Department has translated information sheets to support parents and carers to talk to their children about COVID-19 into 20 community languages:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for parents, carers and guardians

Talking to your children about coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 Pandemic event visa

The Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream (COVID-19 Pandemic event) of the Temporary Activity (sc 408) visa is being utilised as a temporary measure to provide a visa option for those working in critical sectors or who are unable to depart Australia.


The COVID-19 Pandemic event visa is available to people who are:

  • are unable to depart Australia due to COVID-19
  • have 28 days or less remaining on their current visa or where their last temporary visa has expired less than 28 days ago
  • are not eligible for any other visa based on their intended activities or
  • have evidence from their employer that they have ongoing work in a critical sector and that an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident cannot fill the position.


Who can apply:

  • Working holiday makers working in critical sectors who are not eligible for any other visa and are unable to return to their home country.
  • Seasonal Worker Programme visa holders with visas due to expire within 28 days.
  • Other temporary visa holders whose visas are about to expire, have no other visa options, are unable to return to their home country and who are working in critical sectors. Evidence of this work needs to be submitted with the application.
  • Other temporary visa holders may apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic event visa only where there is no other visa option and it is not possible to leave Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will allow them to remain lawfully in Australia until it is safe and practical to return to their home country.


Length of Stay

  • If you are employed in a critical sector such as agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, and childcare you may be granted a visa that allows you to stay for up to 12 months.
  • If you have been in Australia under the Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme and are continuing your work in agriculture or another critical sector you may be granted a visa allowing you to stay for up to 12 months.
  • If you are not working in a critical sector, you may be granted a visa that allows you to stay for up to six months to ensure you remain lawful while you are unable to travel home from Australia.



EAIE Webinar

COVID-19: Leading a cloud-based international team

With the COVID-19 enforced closure of higher education offices and campuses across Europe and elsewhere, working remotely has become the order of the day for many international education professionals. With social distancing expected to be the norm in many countries for months to come, this way of working will likely remain for some time. So, how can we make the most of this ‘new normal’ in our professional lives? 


ABN: 42 335 124 078


ISANA Secretariat


Email: isana@isana.org.au

Office Hours:  Monday & Wednesday 9.30 am – 2.30 pm

228 Liverpool Street

Hobart TAS 7000

Phone:  +61 3 6231 0253

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