Universities Australia Deputy Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said it was vital that any changes did not damage the strengths and vibrant international character of Australia’s university sector.
“Australia has a competitive advantage right now amidst uncertainty in many other parts of the world – we need to safeguard that advantage and not undermine it in any way,” she said.
“The ability of our universities to bring brilliant minds into Australia is crucial to the global research collaborations that will help us to create new jobs and new industries for Australians.”
“It’s also crucial to ensure we continue to attract many of the best and brightest international students, who contribute $21 billion to Australia’s economy every year. This is now Australia’s third largest export and a mainstay of many regional Australian economies.”
“We are concerned to ensure that the changes would not inhibit free academic movement, which other nations enjoy.”
Universities Australia has sought urgent clarification from Government to avoid unintended consequences on university recruitment of world-leading global researchers and academics.
The changes announced by Government must not alter the existing post-study work rights for international university students – which are vital to continued recruitment.
We are also seeking clarification on a number of issues. These include whether the proposed changes would impede the ability of universities to hire brilliant newly-graduated PhD scholars from other nations.
It is also vital that universities remain able to recruit global research and development managers and global leaders in the social and physical sciences into academic research and teaching jobs.
Australia’s world-class university sector relies on its openness to the best global talent.