In a recent event, the Australian government announced an increase in the duration of international students’ post-study work rights to strengthen the skilled labour pipeline. International education is an essential Australian industry that the pandemic has heavily impacted.
Australia’s Minister for Education Jason Clare, at the Government’s Job and Skills Summit in Canberra, said that the government would increase post-study work rights for international students who graduate from universities in Australia in industries with the skills shortage. “At the moment, only 16% of international students stay after their studies end,” said education minister Jason Clare. “This will mean they can stay on longer and use the skills they’ve gained in Australia to help fill some of the chronic skills shortages we have right now.”
He also said earlier that he would like to see more international students remaining in Australia after completing their studies.
A working group will be established to advise Ministers for Home Affairs and Education on its development, including representatives from the International Education Association of Australia, the National Tertiary Education Union, Universities Australia, and the Government’s home affairs and education departments. It will report to the Government before the end of October. This implies that bachelor’s degree graduates may be able to stay in the country for four years, master’s graduates for five years and those with a PhD will be able to stay in Australia for six years.
The Australian international education sector applauded the decision – and regarded this as a necessary measure to address and tackle the skills shortage in the country and grow the Australian economy. Currently, International students with bachelor’s degrees are allowed to stay in the country for two years, master’s graduates for a duration of three years, and doctoral students for four years.
It has not yet been announced which programs will be allowed for extended visas. Still, it has been reported that Australia is trying to fill jobs in nursing, engineering, and technology.
The Australian Government also announced that the number of hours that international students can work will be capped again in June 2023, reversing the relaxation of restrictions in January. However, a decision has not yet been made on what the cap will be. The hours will be subject to consultation to strike the proper balance between work and study.
The Jobs and Skills Summit outcomes are geared towards supporting global education and giving the scholars who study in Australia the chance to contribute to the country’s economy.