Media Releases

MEDIA RELEASE: “We welcomes the support for returning of international students, but more could be done,” says CAPA.

29 Nov 21

MEDIA RELEASE: “We welcomes the support for returning of international students, but more could be done,” says CAPA.

The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) welcomes the Commonwealth Government’s recent announcements around international students and the recent launch of the Australian Strategy for International Students.

Last year CAPA requested flexibility to the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) for those affected by this pandemic. It is essential to recognise the value international students bring to our economy, and the recent announcements reflect an understanding of this.

This recent announcement includes eligibility for a temporary graduate visa to international students that continued their education overseas. The duration from two to three for masters by coursework students is also warmly welcomed.

Many international students felt they were taken for granted and treated as “cash cows” through this pandemic. This is a step towards repairing the tarnished relationship between international students and this country, but elements of the strategy stem from inherently flawed logic.

  1. Diversification – The border closure was necessary, but it indiscriminately barred international students from entering the country. Diversifying our international student enrolments would not have faired much better under these conditions. This has more undertones of geopolitical tension than addressing an actual issue.
  2. Global Competitiveness – Universities have been ridiculed for operating as a business with an over-reliance on international students. Yet, this strategy outlines a business model concerning ‘market share’ and ‘expanding further (into offshore markets)’. ’This contradiction implicitly encourages further reliance on international student enrollments.
  3. Student at the centre – To belong includes not being treated differently and there are many ways this can improve. International students currently pay full fees for public transport in two major states. They have significant visa restrictions that prevent converting to part-time study or making short trips overseas this holiday season.

“It’s great to see international education get some attention through all this, but it should always be about quality, not quantity,” says CAPA National President Errol.

CAPA firmly believes the quality of education should always remain the main priority of universities.

For comment:

CAPA International Officer Vineet Prabhakar

CAPA National President Errol Phuah

M: 0431 545 167