Council for International Education

Today I am announcing the new membership of the Council for International Education. 

The Albanese Government welcomes international students to Australia and values the important contributions they make to our campuses and communities. 

Australia’s international education sector is our biggest export that we don’t dig or drill out of the ground. 

International education is a critical Australian asset. It was kneecapped by Covid. A $40 billion industry was cut in half. 

It also didn’t help that the last government told international students to go home. 

We are rebuilding our international education sector.

International student commencements are 28 per cent higher than the same period last year. 

We are also breaking the back of the student visa backlog. 

In May, more than 130,000 students were waiting overseas for their visa to be processed. 

We have put more than 400 staff on to help process visas. 

And the number of students waiting overseas for visas is now down to just over 30,000. 

In other words, we have cut the waiting list by over three-quarters. 

We have also announced an extension of work rights for students who get degrees in areas where we have a skills shortage and students are coming back. 

Post study work rights for select degrees in areas of verified skill shortages will be increased from two years to four years for select Bachelor’s degrees, three years to five years for select Masters degrees, and four years to six years for select PhDs. 

This is just the start. There is still a lot more work to do. 

The new membership comprises experienced international education practitioners who will help to lead the sector through this important next phase of recovery and growth. 

Expert members of the Council are: 

  • The Hon Phil Honeywood – CEO, International Education Association of Australia
  • Mr Julian Hill MP – Member for Bruce
  • Ms Catriona Jackson – CEO, Universities Australia
  • Professor Michael Wesley – Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Linda Taylor – Pro Vice-Chancellor International, Western Sydney University
  • Mr Mel Koumides – CEO, Academia International
  • Mr Derek Scott – CEO and Principal, Haileybury
  • Ms Anouk Darling – CEO, Scape
  • Ms Denise O’Brien – General Manager, International, TAFE Queensland
  • Ms Jane Johnston – Chief Executive, StudyAdelaide 

The incoming President of the Council of International Students Australia will also participate on the Council as an ex-officio member.

I look forward to working closely with the Council to ensure Australia’s international education sector continues to grow, diversify and transform lives both here in Australia and all over the world.