The Morrison Government will introduce further targeted measures to support the international education sector to roar back, as international borders reopen. More than $37 million will be available to support those international education providers most affected by COVID-19. Extended regulatory fee waivers and additional grants are elements of this.
In addition, changes to visa settings will also provide much needed flexibility for international students as they set to return to Australia. The new settings will extend measures to protect the post-study work rights of international students as well as extend the temporary graduate visa from two to three years for masters by coursework graduates.
Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said the announcement would accelerate the COVID-19 recovery process for the 2022 academic year. “This will help ensure the rapid return of international students,” Minister Tudge said. “It provides clear incentives for institutions and students and ensures students are not disadvantaged from being prevented from coming to Australia earlier.
“The extension of the Innovation Grants will help English language providers who have been hit particularly hard by COVID.” While the latest data (as at August 2021) shows international student enrolments are down 17 per cent overall compared to August 2019, the ELICOS sector has experienced the greatest decline in enrolments at 71 per cent for that same period. Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke said changes to visa settings for the international education sector gave students some much needed reprieve as Australia’s borders were set to reopen. “The changes are targeted to not only support international students but are also a crucial component of our economic recovery and will help us retain and attract skilled workers.”
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