Schools that are most at risk of closure as a result of Covid-19 border closures will be able to use the funding to diversify their education offerings into online and offshore delivery and re-establish a pipeline of students.

English Australia has been appointed program administrator for the $9 million Innovation Development Fund 2021-22. The support fund is on top of the $9m provided to 63 eligible private higher education and ELICOS providers previously disseminated during the pandemic.

“The international education sector has been hit hard by border closures due to Covid-19. ELICOS colleges have been significantly impacted with student visa commencements down by 60% in 2021, which is on top of declines of 50% by the end of 2020,” CEO of English Australia, Brett Blacker said.

“The fund is a welcome measure from the federal government”

“The fund is a welcome measure from the federal government to assist eligible providers to innovate their business model to include online and offshore engagement. This support will assist these businesses to build Australia’s capacity in online delivery providing long-term benefit.”

Examples of eligible expenditure items include: investment in edtech; designing curriculums and innovative digital teaching solutions for online and offshore delivery, as well as new educational products and online programs; creating new business plans and models, among others.

The maximum grant amount per grantee stands at $150,000, but providers may apply for less funding.

Applicants will not receive more grant funding than the total they lost in revenue from international students over the 2021 calendar year. If the program is oversubscribed the amount of funding allocated to each successful grantee will be reduced.

Applications for the fund are open and close at midnight (AEDT) on 28 January 2022.

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