Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA) notes the release of the Albanese Government’s Migration Strategy, containing eight key actions and over 25 new policy commitments and areas for future reform.
“IHEA welcomes the fact that Migration Strategy does not contain, as part of plan to cut migration numbers, an arbitrary cap on international student numbers in Australia,” said IHEA CEO, Dr Peter Hendy.
“IHEA is also pleased the Strategy does not contain a commitment to impose a damaging export tax on international students.”
“IHEA supports moves to bolster and protect the integrity of Australia’s international education sector – this nation’s fourth largest export industry. But we need to ensure that this suite of measures will benefit students and enhance integrity of the sector, and do not unnecessarily hurt Australia’s world-class international higher education system.”
Specific to higher education, key action number three is Strengthening the Integrity and Quality of International Education.
The Migration Strategy includes previously announced measures intended to improve integrity in international education and support genuine students, plus new commitments to increase English language requirements, greater and more targeted scrutiny to student visa applications from high-risk providers, bolstering the student visa integrity unit in the Department of Home Affairs, strengthening requirements for international education providers, restricting onshore visa hopping that undermines system integrity and drives ‘permanent temporariness’, as well as the strengthening and simplification of Temporary Graduate visas.
IHEA also notes an area for future reform whereby the Government will partner with education providers, unions, industry, and governments to incorporate more work integrated learning (such as professional workplace placements or industry-partnered projects) into tertiary courses to ensure students are better prepared for the workforce – and are not working below their skill level as graduates.
“IHEA will continue to work proactively with the Government on these commitments outlined in the Strategy, and future reforms, to ensure implementation processes are as thorough and robust as possible to maintain the integrity of Australia’s international education sector,” added Dr Peter Hendy.
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