Uni could set up ‘quarantine hub’ for international students
CHARLES Darwin University will not rule out developing a "quarantine hub" where international students can study while self-isolating if border restrictions are eased.
The NT News asked CDU if it would consider the move to allow international students to safely continue their studies before resuming life in the Territory community.
A spokeswoman said CDU was exploring options to assist international students' return when border restrictions are relaxed, and if the students were required to self-isolate.
"CDU is considering many options around how best to assist international students to undertake strict self-isolation in the Territory in the event of the Australian Government relaxing its border restrictions," she said.
"The increase in international student acceptance of offers of a place at CDU in Semester 2 this year would suggest that they are eager to return to or begin their studies in the Territory."
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National Tertiary Education Union NT president Darius Pfitzner said CDU and the Northern Territory needed to take advantage of its status as one of the safest places in Australia through an initiative such as a quarantine hub.
"We'd support anything that would assist students to enter the country, give them the confidence that their safety is in the best interests of CDU and to get them back on the track of study as soon as possible," he said.
"It would seem to be a beneficial proposal that could be used as part of an advertising campaign to promote the benefits of studying in the Territory with CDU.
"It would give students the confidence to come to a location that's safe from COVID-19 and their transition into society would be well managed.
"If you can make the quarantine low cost, if not no cost, for the students, that's got to put (CDU) in front of all the other universities in Australia."
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said it could be explored but was not a priority.
"We have not been approached with this proposal but it's something that could be discussed down the track, when the time is right," he said.
"I can understand why more international students want to come here.
"Our tough borders restrictions will remain in place for as long as they are needed."
Originally published as CDU could set up 'quarantine hub' for international students