Universities Australia commends the Turnbull Government on this further step to ensure Australia can attract the world’s best and brightest talent to work alongside our homegrown stars.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said the announcement by Ministers Michaelia Cash and Alan Tudge would help Australia secure professionals who would otherwise be lost to our competitors.
“The university workforce is global and highly-competitive – and this visa category could be a pathway for professionals at the cutting edge of the knowledge economy,” Ms Robinson said.
“Australian universities need to vie for staff who bring specialised expertise to enhance the contributions that universities make to our community,” she said.
Ms Robinson said the 12-month trial of the new visa scheme would help the sector attract people in new fields to help Australia’s universities stay competitive in a global market.
“We know that as the economy changes, the role of Australia’s universities will need to change with it,” she said.
“Just a decade ago, expertise in areas such as research commercialisation, entrepreneurship or philanthropy weren’t a large part of university structures — now they’re increasingly vital.”
“We’re going to need new types of professionals and expertise to support the changing roles of universities as the nation transitions to a knowledge economy.”
Ms Robinson said Universities Australia would be pleased to provide further input as part of the intended consultations to ensure the fine print detail didn’t exclude crucial talent.
In particular, Universities Australia will continue to advocate for a lower minimum salary requirement than the proposed $180,000.
“Universities Australia looks forward to working with the Government to ensure these conditions are fit for purpose and the scheme works in Australia’s interests,” she said.
The trial will begin in July 2018 and will run until June next year.