Government confirms a consortia of higher education providers are seeking approvals to charter flights for Chinese students. Is this also being done for international students from other destinations?

Sep 22, 2021 | Uncategorized

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, the Department for Education, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2471):

Question Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government (1) what assessment they have made of the cost for universities to charter flights to ensure that students from China are able to return for in-person studies in the UK, and (2) what details it holds on the universities which have chartered these flights. (HL2471)

Tabled on: 07 September 2021

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have provided any financial support to universities which have chartered flights to the UK to ensure that students from China are able to return for in-person studies in the UK. (HL2470)
    Tabled on: 07 September 2021

Answer:
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay:

The government has provided no financial support to higher education providers for the purpose of chartering flights for international higher education students from China to travel to the UK, for the academic year 2021/22.

The government has received applications from Queen’s University Belfast, as well as three consortia of higher education providers seeking approvals for charter flights for Chinese students while scheduled direct flights remain suspended between the UK and mainland China. The three consortia comprise 16, 24, and 55 named higher education providers respectively. The airlines involved have chartered the planes to travel companies, which sell tickets to the students. The airlines and travel agencies take the financial risk.

The government is proud that so many international students choose to study here and is looking forward to safely welcoming them in the new academic year. We have worked closely with the sector to ensure that international students will be appropriately supported and welcomed, including with quarantine requirements. Universities UK International has published bespoke self-isolation guidance for higher education providers to help them prepare for the arrival of students.

Date and time of answer: 22 Sep 2021 at 12:34.

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