“Existing and new student visa holders who undertake online study outside Australia because of Covid-19 will be able to count this towards the Australian Study Requirement,” the government confirmed on its website.

The measures included recommencing of student visa processes with fee waivers in some instances, as well as additional time given to provide English language test results.

However, Universities Australia had previously voiced concern that measures allowing students to count online studies completed overseas were only applicable for current students.

“We welcome the sensible changes to visa arrangements for those currently enrolled, and also for prospective students,” Universities Australia chief executive, Catriona Jackson said.

“It’s important that changes to visa processes ensure students get a fair go and are not disadvantaged by the impact of Covid-19,” she added.

“International students fund their own education and make an invaluable contribution to Australia’s culture and economy.”

Clarity around visas is important for the sector ahead of borders eventually being opened.

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