About

Govt proposes limiting international student numbers

Share
It’s part of a broader strategy to reduce the migration rate.
University and Government officials have met in Canberra to discuss proposed changes to the higher education sector, including limits on international student numbers across Australian universities.

University and Government officials have met in Canberra to discuss proposed changes to the higher education sector, including limits on international student numbers across Australian universities.

It’s part of a broader strategy to reduce the migration rate.

Here’s what you need to know.

Migration

The Government has announced multiple policies to reduce the number of people migrating to Australia.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows there were 554,000 temporary visas issued last year. More than half were granted to international students.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said last year that she wanted to see migration return to “sustainable” levels, and announced stricter rules for international students looking to come to Australia, including higher minimum results on a standardised English test.

Reforms

Over the weekend, the Government released a draft plan of reforms to the higher education sector.

It included proposed new powers allowing the government to limit international student enrolments at universities, and cap the number of students in certain courses.

However, universities would be able to enrol additional international students under the plan if they build more student accommodation.

Other changes to “improve” higher education in Australia include plans to crack down on ‘dodgy’ education providers and fill skills shortages in areas like health and teaching.

At this stage, the Government’s proposals are in their draft stage. It plans to introduce legislation to the Parliament within the coming week.

This morning, international education experts and Government ministers met to consult on the proposed changes.

Today’s meeting

The International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) criticised the Government’s proposal ahead of today’s meeting.

CEO Phil Honeywood told TDA the Government promised not to cap international student numbers until at least January 2025.

Honeywood said the proposed incentive to get universities to build more student accommodation was “seriously flawed.” Honeywood said it’s up to state governments and local councils to approve planning decisions.

Outcomes

Education Minister Jason Clare said he wanted to make sure international education was “sustainable”.

In a statement to TDA after the meeting, Clare said today represents the beginning of “detailed consultation” with the international education sector.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil acknowledged the Government was proposing “big changes” and vowed to “work collaboratively with the sector” to manage these reforms.

Opposition

Shadow Immigration Minister Dan Tehan said the Government is “pushing out a student visa policy with no details”.

Tehan criticised the Government for focusing on building more international student accommodation rather than “Australians facing a housing crisis”.

Become smarter in three minutes

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed, for free.

Be the smart friend in your group chat

Join thousands of young Aussies and get our 5 min daily newsletter on what matters in your world.

It’s easy. It’s trustworthy. It’s free.