Universities Australia would like to bring the following key points to the attention of the
- Australia’s universities operate in a global labour market, perhaps more than other industries in Australia, characterised by a two-way flow of academic talent.
- Australia’s knowledge economy is dependent on collaboration underpinned by the ability of students and staff to move between institutions in different countries at different stages of their careers.
- Australia’s universities would benefit from streamlined visa classes aimed specifically at facilitating the entry of knowledge workers for short- and long-term stays with options for permanency.
- An alternate approach to classifying occupations, which is more responsive to the changing nature of the workplace than the existing Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, should be considered.
- While temporary visa holders should not have an automatic right to permanent residency, they should have the right to hold that ambition and to have minimal obstacles placed in their way provided they have the appropriate profile to be accepted.
- Post-study work rights for international students must be retained so as to optimise Australia’s position as a destination of choice for international students.
- Any potential changes to the temporary visa system must be well communicated to stakeholders and the public in a timely manner.
- The current temporary skilled visa system is serving the needs of the university system well and the overarching principle in this exercise should be to do no harm.