New visa settings will expedite return of international students and attract skilled workers

Group of Eight Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said new visa settings announced by the Australian Government will give international students flexibility and foster international education and research, which is vital to Australia’s post COVID economic recovery.

“The Government’s measures to protect the post-study work rights of international students and extend the temporary graduate visa from two to three years for masters by coursework graduates, will expedite the return of international students and help Australia attract and retain skilled workers,” Ms Thomson said.

“Over half (55%) of the international enrolments at the Go8, which comprise Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, are at postgraduate or research level, the very students we need to attract and retain for Australia’s economic prosperity.

“International education is Australia’s fourth largest export and delivers significant economic and social benefits to all Australians. International education and research must be leveraged to drive Australia’s economic interests through sovereign capability building and an enhanced domestic workforce. Access to globally in demand skills such as AI, cybersecurity, defence and engineering underpins the viability of all sectors and will be crucial to the Government achieving its technology goals, such as the recently announced Statement of Intent with the United States to exchange quantum knowledge and skills.

“Today’s announcement is an important step in building both workforce capacity and quality for Australia, and ensuring the nation gains maximum benefit from our world class international education sector.

“Facilitating short and long-term migration outcomes for high-achieving students in key disciplines is essential to ensure Australia can meet the needs of strategically important industries.”

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