An update has been put out by the Australian government with a strategy to replace the old 2016 National Strategy for International Education 2025.
This new strategy addresses the multitudes of impacts on Australia’s international education sector resulting from the COVID pandemic and improved outcomes from this change to rebuild the economy of Australia.
Applicants should be aware that the detail of many of the initiatives announced in this report have not yet been implemented through legislation or supported by Home Affairs policy changes. As information comes to hand, we will continue to keep you informed.
With this new/revised Strategy comes four priorities for the next ten years, please see below:
Priority 1 – Diversification
First off is the diversification strategy. This is pointed towards diversifying source countries and taking advantage of offshore and digital opportunities. China and India are the top two countries for international students who are interested in studying abroad. This leaves Australia competing with the UK, USA, and Canada for the same area of people.
So, to combat the undersaturated market, ideas, and initiatives to drive better diversity of international students is going to be developed.
Some ideas that have been discussed are providing opportunities with more overseas campuses and increased course offerings that will give a more affordable option for students in their own home countries.
Priority 2 – Meeting Australia’s Skills Needs
Australia’s international students have been an important source of skilled migrants. However, around 50% of international students tend to study business and commerce. Which is not Australia’s needed skills at this time. The current high demand skillsets are engineering, mathematics, technology experts and healthcare workers. Incentives will be offered to international students to study in these needed areas to better align study choices with priority employment fields Australia currently has. The Government will work with education providers to align educational offerings with Australia’s future skills needs.
Targeted career initiatives will also be offered to incentivise Temporary Graduate Visa holders in areas of skills needs. As mentioned previously, The Government will also extend and grow opportunities for non-Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) courses to be delivered overseas in areas of skills needed in the future.
More opportunities to grow and diversify research in Australia will be cultivated by marketing to international students for them to study and conduct research through master’s by Research and PhD level degrees. Guidelines to protect university staff and students from risks of foreign interference in their diversity work and research have been implemented by the University Foreign Interference Taskforce.
Priority 3 – Students at the centre
The drastic effect of the pandemic has shown and brought up the importance of improving the social cohesion for international students. To make the connections between international students, Australian students, and communities stronger, student centric policies will be implemented.
Ensuring that off campus experiences are enriched, access to these experiences will be made easier and will be developed to assist students to maximise their opportunities while in Australia. Some of these experiences include, however, are not limited to internships, employer networking and post graduate opportunities
The Australian government plans to work with industry sectors, state, and territory governments to broaden students’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities while living, studying and working in Australia.
Priority 4 – Growth and Global Competitiveness
Legislative and policy frameworks will be introduced to protect Australia’s reputation of providing quality education.
Measures announced include:
The full Report is available on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.