“Australia is one of the world’s great multicultural success stories,” Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said.
“We need a system that acknowledges the benefits of migration to our nation, and that means a system with greater certainty for international workers who complement our homegrown workforce.
“International students have a key role to play, and we welcome the review’s focus in this area.
“The current skills crisis highlights the urgent need to retain more of these students, when and where there is a clear need for their skills, to spur productivity and economic growth.
“Australia is a leading destination for international students, and yet they remain one of our most underutilised assets.
“We educate hundreds of thousands of students from 144 countries each year, but only 16 per cent stay on and use their Australian education as an Australian resident.
“Our current visa system has caused this brain drain, leaving Australia worse off as we battle skill shortages and productivity problems.
“We need a system that supports Australia’s interests rather than working against them.
“International students make a significant contribution to our communities and the nation while they study, yet too many are unable to pursue work in their chosen profession after the graduate.
“If there is a clear need for the skills and knowledge of international graduates, our system should encourage them to stay rather than deterring them.
“Universities have called for a reset of Australia’s visa system to ensure we can harness the skills of international graduates in areas of labour market shortage.
“We congratulate Dr Martin Parkinson, Professor Joanna Howe and Mr John Azarias for their work on the review and are pleased our recommendations have been taken on board.
“We look forward to engaging with government to bring these solutions to life through the development of Australia’s new migration strategy.”