Admission to study in Australia for Bhutanese students deferred to early 2022

The Australian government signaled that the majority of international students would not be able to return until the second half of 2022

The admission of most Bhutanese students in universities in Australia with visa grants have been deferred until early next year due to border closure in Australia in March 2020.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Bhutan Education Consultancy, R. K Chaudhari said they deferred the admission for those who got the visa from 2020 onwards to early next year and are hopeful that the borders would re-open then.  

Additionally, he said one could defer the visa until the border reopens.  

A Senior Counselor, Nima Zangmo with the Global Reach Education Consultancy said students can defer the admission for two to three times.  

The Australian government has signaled that the majority of international students will not be able to return until the second half of 2022, according to the media reports. Meanwhile, universities’ leaders want Australia’s borders to be re-opened now.  

Further, R. K Chaudari said that as IELTS is mandatory to study in Australia and Canada and with the IELTS centers shut in the country, it is not able to process admission.

A Counsellor from EA-Z consultancy said even the IETLS test centers in the country are not sure when they would open.

Additionally, he shared that a few Bhutanese even went to Siliguri in India to do the test and came back under strict COVID-19 protocols. 

“With borders closed, one has to wait or study online and Bhutanese are either not interested in learning online for they feel it is difficult,” said R.K Chaudari. 

Nima Zangmo said that they are arranging IELTS to be held at Kolkata on July 17 and registration is open until July 5.  

“There is a confirmation from about 8-10 Bhutanese willing to go,” she added.

Moreover, she said Bhutanese could opt to study in the University of UK by conducting a similar test to IELTS online after applying for admission.

Nima Zangmo said Bhutanese could also study in Canada as Canada allows international students; however, one has to follow the COVID-19 protocols. 

She added that after confirming the visa, one could do a biometric thumbprint process in Kolkata or Delhi, which were opened recently. 

Recently, the government of South Australia has approved a plan for return of international students by July this year; however, most arrivals would be constrained by strict quarantine caps for the near future, according to media reports.

“Some states in Australia namely South Australia and New South Wales are planning to have their own quarantine facilities to recruit students but it has not been confirmed yet, “said R.K Chaudari. 

Another consultant said admissions are still open for students opting for under-study in India and classes would be taken online.  

According to the Ministry of Education, there are 1,398 Bhutanese studying in Australia as of December 2019.

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu