Security Update: COVID-19 Pandemic: Cancellation of in-country delivery of all ACICIS programs scheduled for first half of 2021: 1 September 2020

Following the decision in April 2020 to cancel all ACICIS programs scheduled to run in Indonesia during the second half of 2020, the ACICIS National Reference Group has now resolved to cancel in-country delivery of all ACICIS programs scheduled to run between January and June 2021.

The decision to cancel in-country delivery of ACICIS programs for the first half of 2021 is regrettable. It is, however, the collective assessment of the National Reference Group that the COVID-19 pandemic – and associated government and university restrictions on international travel –   currently preventing student mobility between Australia and Indonesia are unlikely to resolve by early next year. Now is therefore the time to provide clarity and certainty to all parties involved in the running of ACICIS programs – including prospective students, consortium member universities, Indonesian partner universities, and ACICIS staff.

In light of the Australian Government’s recent decision to permit online or virtual delivery of New Colombo Plan Mobility Program (NCPMP) projects, ACICIS staff are now developing virtual versions of the following nine short format programs, with the goal of offering our first online intakes between December 2020 and January 2021, subject to sufficient national student demand:

We are confident these virtual offerings will provide significant value to ACICIS member universities and students while in-country study options are not possible. Through ACICIS, member university students will have access to the large pool of NCPMP grants available to support participation in these virtual offerings

ACICIS staff have begun to contact relevant member university staff regarding the promotion of the above virtual program offerings to eligible students, and will continue to do so over coming days and weeks. Similarly, ACICIS has contacted all current applicants for cancelled in-country ACICIS programs to encourage them to consider taking part in one of the above virtual options, or, failing that, to defer their application to a future program intake.

ACICIS will continue to monitor conditions – both globally and in Indonesia – and will make a decision in coming months regarding the feasibility of in-country delivery of programs scheduled to commence from July 2021 onwards.

Should you have any queries regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact the ACICIS Secretariat by phone (+61 8 6488 6675) or email (acicis@acicis.edu.au).

Liam Prince
ACICIS Consortium Director

Security Update: COVID-19 Pandemic: Cancellation of August 2020 intake of ACICIS Semester Programs: 29 April 2020

Following the decision to cancel the 2020 intakes of ACICIS’ mid-year short format programs, the ACICIS National Reference Group has recently considered the feasibility of delivering the consortium’s semester programs scheduled to commence in July and August 2020. Given the continued uncertainly around how long the global COVID-19 pandemic and associated government travel restrictions will continue to impact on both the practicality and safety of international travel, the National Reference Group has now resolved to cancel all ACICIS semester programs commencing in July and August 2020.

Though an extremely regrettable outcome, the National Reference Group believes that now is the time to provide clarity and certainty to all parties involved in the running of these programs – including prospective students, consortium member universities, Indonesian partner universities, and ACICIS staff. While there remains such a high degree of uncertainty regarding how long the global COVID-19 pandemic and associated government travel restrictions will continue to impact on both the practicality and safety of international travel – including to Indonesia, it seems unwise to encourage these parties further down the path of financial commitment to these programs

ACICIS has, to date, refrained from invoicing prospective participants for their program fees. Therefore students affected by the decision to cancel the consortium’s upcoming semester program intake should not be financially disadvantaged. The ACICIS Secretariat is currently reaching out to all applicants to encourage postponement and deferral of their application to a future intake.

The National Reference Group has not yet made a decision regarding the viability of ACICIS programs scheduled to run during Summer 2020/21 – commencing from November 2020 onwards. ACICIS will soon begin advertising its first application round for the January 2021 intake of the consortium’s six-week Professional Practica. ACICIS will continue to monitor conditions – both globally and in Indonesia – and will make a decision in coming months regarding the feasibility of delivering programs scheduled to commence in late 2020/early 2021.

While we remain hopeful that all ACICIS programs scheduled to commence late this year/early next will be able to proceed as planned, ACICIS understands that prospective participants will unlikely be willing to make financial commitment to participation in the current environment. For this reason, any ACICIS program fees collected from participants will remain fully refundable in circumstances where students are required to withdraw from their chosen ACICIS program prior to commencement due to COVID-19 related reasons.

Should you have any queries regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact the ACICIS Secretariat by phone (+61 8 6488 6675) or email (acicis@acicis.edu.au).

Liam Prince
ACICIS Consortium Director

Security Update: COVID-19 Pandemic: Mid-Year Short Format Programs Cancelled: 9 April 2020

Following the decision last month to curtail the consortium’s January-June 2020 semester programs in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the ACICIS National Reference Group has resolved this week to cancel the 2020 intakes of both of the consortium’s mid-year short format programs – namely the Indonesian Language Short Course and Public Health Study Tour.

Though an extremely regrettable outcome, the National Reference Group believes that now is the time to provide clarity and certainty to all parties involved in the running of these programs – including prospective students, consortium member universities, Indonesian partner universities, and ACICIS staff. While there remains such a high degree of uncertainty regarding how long the global COVID-19 pandemic and associated government travel restrictions will continue to impact on both the practicality and safety of international travel – including to Indonesia, it seems unwise to encourage these parties further down the path of financial commitment to these mid-year programs.

To date, ACICIS has not collected any program fees from prospective participants. Therefore students affected by the decision to cancel the consortium’s mid-year programs should not be financially disadvantaged. The ACICIS Secretariat is currently reaching out to all applicants to encourage postponement and deferral of their application to a future intake.

At this stage the National Reference Group has not made a decision regarding semester programs scheduled to commence in August 2020. ACICIS will continue to monitor the situation and make a determination around the feasibility of delivering these programs in coming weeks. In the meantime, ACICIS’ temporary amendment to our semester program withdrawal policy remains in place, allowing students to withdraw without financial penalty should they be unable to commence their studies due to COVID-19 related reasons.

Should you have any queries regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact the ACICIS Secretariat by phone (+61 8 6488 6675) or email (acicis@acicis.edu.au).

Liam Prince
ACICIS Consortium Director

Security Update: COVID-19 Pandemic: All Current ACICIS Programs Cancelled, Effective Immediately: 16 March 2020

The ACICIS National Reference Group has recently met and resolved that all current ACICIS programs are to be cancelled, effective immediately. The ACICIS Resident Director has this morning contacted the 36 participants currently in-country and advised them to leave Indonesia no later than Saturday, 21 March 2020.

The decision to cancel this semester’s programs has not been made lightly, and ACICIS are conscious of the significant stress and inconvenience likely caused by this abrupt interruption to participants’ studies. However, given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government’s increase in the overall level of travel advice for all destinations worldwide (including Indonesia), and the considerable uncertainty regarding Indonesia’s capacity to manage the public health challenge posed by COVID-19, the ACICIS National Reference Group has determined that now is the time for participants to leave Indonesia.

Indications are that the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia is likely to worsen over coming weeks. The situation is extremely fast-moving and unpredictable. The outbreak – and the likely response to it from Indonesia’s government and civil institutions – make it impossible to guarantee that ACICIS will be able to continue to provide administrative, academic, and pastoral care support to current participants beyond the end of this week.

We have emphasised to participants that all current programs have been cancelled, not suspended, and will not resume this semester. As such, participants have been advised to leave Indonesia on the assumption that they will not be returning for the foreseeable future.  Participants have been advised, however, that they will have the opportunity to return to Indonesia and complete their program during a future semester intake, with all program (administration and tuition) fees waived.

All participants and relevant member university staff will be contacted individually by ACICIS team members with further, tailored advice, in the near future. Moreover, ACICIS has compiled answers to what we anticipate will be the most frequently asked questions in this document.

Member university staff, family or other close associates of program participants may direct any immediate queries pertaining to this notification to Matthew Satchwell, ACICIS Student Administration Coordinator on +61 431 308 049 or email m.satchwell@acicis.edu.au.

Liam Prince
ACICIS Consortium Director

Security Advice Clarification: Lion Air Services: 18 April 2019

ACICIS has recently received queries regarding whether the security advice issued on 29 October 2018, instructing all ACICIS participants to avoid using Lion Air for domestic or international travel until further notice, still stands.

This initial advice was issued in light of the fatal crash of Lion Air Flight JT610, killing all on board, and the Australian government’s subsequent prohibition on its officials or contactors flying on Lion Air or its subsidiary airlines until the findings of the crash investigation became clear.

At present, the Australian government’s advice instructing its officials or contactors not to fly on Lion Air or its subsidiary airlines that operate outside of Australia is still in place. Current and prospective ACICIS students are, therefore, still instructed not to fly on Lion Air or its subsidiary airlines (with the exception of services operating to and from Australia) until further notice. ACICIS does not utilise Lion Air services as part of any official program activities.

Students requiring further clarification on this advice are welcome to contact the ACICIS Resident Director. Likewise, staff at the ACICIS Secretariat in Perth are available to field any questions prospective students, family, friends and member university staff might have.  Queries may be directed to the ACICIS Secretariat on 08 6488 6675 or at acicis@acicis.edu.au.

Liam Prince
ACICIS Consortium Director