University of Newcastle welcomes back first flight of international students

Friday, 10 December 2021

After two years heavily interrupted by COVID-19, the University of Newcastle has welcomed international students back to campus.

Student James Abou-Ghaida

A group of 19 University of Newcastle students from 11 different countries touched down at Sydney airport on Monday and after completing 72 hours of self-isolation, made their way to Callaghan campus on Thursday.

The students are part of the state government’s International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan, the first chartered flight of which brought more than 250 students from 15 different countries to Australia.

Another flight is set to arrive on December 24 and a third in early January.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky said the entire University of Newcastle community was excited to have our international students back “home”.

“It’s been an incredibly difficult two years and we couldn’t be more proud of these students, who have continued to work hard and maintain their studies in the face of numerous setbacks,” Professor Zelinsky said.

“Their return is also a credit to the University’s hard-working lecturers, tutors and course convenors, and the unwavering dedication they have shown to their students.

“While we are not quite out of the woods yet, being able to welcome this cohort of students is hopefully a sign of things to come for all of Australia in 2022.”

Professor Zelinsky said that the return of students from overseas was also a positive for the entire region.

“Our international students are such an important part of campus life, bringing the kind of culture, vivacity and perspectives that make our University so vibrant and unique,” Professor Zelinsky said.

“An institution of learning is about more than just studies, exams and degrees. The people at our universities serve to enrich the whole community and our international students are central to what makes our university such an important part of our regions.”


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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.