Issue 1
Monday, 01 March 2021
Charles Darwin University
Xiujuan Xu and Bixia Liu were two of the international students welcomed back to CDU's Casuarina campus
Xiujuan Xu and Bixia Liu were two of the international students welcomed back to CDU's Casuarina campus

CDU welcomes international students on to campus

By Carl Pfeiffer

The first group of international students to arrive in Australia since the introduction of hard border restrictions were welcomed on to Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) Casuarina campus after being released from quarantine in December. 

The group of 63 students flew into Darwin International Airport from Singapore on 30 November, before serving the mandatory 14 days' quarantine at the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility.

After settling into their own accommodation, the students arrived at CDU on 15 December for a Welcome to Campus event which featured a traditional Indigenous Smoking Ceremony, music, and pre-packed meals for them to take home. 

The cohort, from mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia, followed the advice of the NT Chief Health Officer on arrival and adhered to health screenings, with all testing negative for COVID-19. 

Outgoing CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks said CDU was leading the nation by becoming the first university to welcome back international students, who were well supported during their time in quarantine.  

“CDU organised a comprehensive support program for students during their quarantine period including care packages, safety briefings, daily phone calls, virtual coffee catch-ups and exercise classes, along with English language and employability workshops,” Professor Maddocks said. 

“It’s been wonderful to welcome these students on to campus today. Their arrival will provide a significant boost to CDU and the Northern Territory economy.

“Analysis shows each of these newly arrived students will contribute more than $40,000 to the local economy each year. International students generated $145 million to the NT’s economy in 2019 alone and supported more than 600 jobs.” 

The group comprised a mix of new and continuing students enrolled in a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and VET programs including Law, Nursing, IT, Teaching, Accounting and Engineering.  

They will study at CDU’s Casuarina, Waterfront, Palmerston and Alice Springs campuses, with some beginning in the Summer Semester, while the remainder began in Semester 1, 2021. 

The Vice-Chancellor reinforced that the charter flight was arranged by CDU specifically for international students after being advised that it is the NT and Australian governments’ responsibilities to coordinate the return of Australian citizens and permanent residents.