The first international students have touched down in Australia since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with more set to follow.
A charter flight from Singapore landed in Darwin on Monday morning carrying 63 students from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
The students enrolled at Charles Darwin University (CDU), were required to undertake a health screening before departure.
They were escorted to the National Resilience Centre in Howard Springs where they will go through a 14-day quarantine before returning to their classes.
It is the first group of international students to enter the nation since the implementation of international border restrictions in Mar. 20.
The pilot program is expected to boost the economy of the Northern Territory (NT) and lead other universities in welcoming back more international students.
“International students are a massive contributor to the Territory economy, with each student contributing an average of $40,693 each year.” Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison said in a statement.
The NT government will fund events and activities to help students through quarantine, such as employability skills training, social networking events and wellbeing workshops.
CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks said the group contained a mix of newly enrolled and returning students.
“[They] are enrolled in a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and VET programs including Law, Nursing, IT, Teaching, Accounting and Engineering,” he said in a statement.
Government and university staff cooperated to make the pilot program a success.
“This is the tip of the iceberg to get the ball rolling. CDU relies quite heavily on their international student cohort as do many universities,” a spokesman told AAP.
The NT government are working with the international education sector to allow more students to return and resume studies next year.