Support for education providers hardest hit by Covid

More than 60 private higher education and English language providers will share in more than $9 million, to help them grow and diversify their online and offshore courses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said up to $150,000 would be provided to 63 businesses that have been among the hardest hit by the lack of international students due to border closures.

“Border closures have been important in limiting the number of COVID cases in Australia, but some private providers have seen up to a 70 per cent decline in international student numbers as a result,” Minister Tudge said.

“These measures will support those providers to maintain as much capacity as possible until international students can be welcomed back.

“It will also encourage these businesses to target more Australian students and take a greater share of the booming global online learning markets.

“We are helping businesses stay afloat, encouraging them to keep on staff and making them more resilient for the future.”

The Innovation Fund was administered by English Australia, the peak body for English language education in Australia.

English Australia CEO Brett Blacker said the fund had given many private English language and private higher education providers the chance to move into online and offshore delivery, which typically required substantial investment to undertake.

“With the global pandemic significantly affecting our markets, this will allow providers to adapt new business models that would have been impossible without the support of the fund,” Mr Blacker said.

The Innovation Fund was announced as part of a $53.6 million package of measures to support international education providers in the 2021-22 Federal Budget.

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