Australia’s New Govt Plan to Focus on Diversity and Skill Enhancement

By Sristy Sharma Updated On - Nov 29, 2021 02:12 PM

Australia has announced a new international education strategy to counter its falling numbers of international students during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Australia opens its universities for vaccinated international students, it aims to achieve the pre-pandemic figures and much more.

The Federal government of Australia, on 26th November 2021, announced a long term (10-year) strategy to increase the diversity of international students in Australia. 

The Council of International Education of the nation proposed the implementation of the strategy along with the strategic focus planned by the government. The strategy is aimed to bring more diversity among the international students enrolled in Australian Universities. 

The area fostering international education is also aimed to be widened, while currently Business and Commerce make up for the majority of the sector, the skill sets required by the nation are facing imbalance. The correction is expected to be implemented by taking in more students for Engineering, Health and Welfare, and other technical and scientific sectors.

Also Read: Deakin University Ready to Welcome Back Fully-Vaccinated International Students

The strategic announcement also reflected upon the market contribution, and registering China (30% - 37%) and India (14% - 19%) as main contributors, the need to focus upon other global markets. While a specific statement was made in respect of not cutting down the market share, the Federal Government intends to avoid becoming wholly dependent on the two markets and aims to factor in other global markets.

Overall, the diversity and its eventual positive impact on increasing the skill set of the nation, and building a more sustainable economy, in the long run, was charted as the main aim of the proposed long-term strategy.

In order to achieve the goals of the strategy, the models of the UK and the USA shall be used as inspiration. The reason stated was that while Australia’s International Education sector is 20%, the UK’s is about 55%, which contributes admirably to their university's funds and the foreign money coming into the nation. 

Student Welfare programs (mental and physical) shall also be used and the length of student visas (temporary graduate students) is also to be increased up to 3 years.

Australian Education Minister, Alan Tudge, sat in an interview with SBS Hindi and also commented on the importance of strategy in bringing the contribution of international education to pre COVID-19 levels. He also shared the levels at which strategy shall be implemented and the related steps.

Phil Honeywood, CEO of International Education of Australia acted as an important part during strategy formulation and is expected to oversee the implementation.

Also Read: Australia's Border to Open for International Students, Workers from December

The federal government sees the strategy as a tool to increase the diversity in both the population and education sector, which shall help in balancing the skill set requirements of the nation. 

Australia is all set to welcome fully vaccinated international students and workers from December 1.

Source: SBS News

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