Academy welcomes new student visa requirements
26 March 2012
The Australian Academy of Science today congratulated the Government on its new visa requirements to enable universities to more easily attract overseas post-graduate students to Australia.
The Government has introduced measures to streamline visa processing, as it implements recommendations of the Hon Michael Knight’s Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program 2011.
In future, a student from any country who is enrolled for a degree in an Australian university will be treated as “low risk”, provided the University backs their application.
“This is important for Australian science,” remarked the Academy’s Secretary for Science Policy, Professor Bob Williamson.
“Each overseas student or researcher who comes here contributes to the intellectual power of Australia, and is a potential collaborative partner with our research organisations on their return home.
“The new system will be particularly valuable for the very bright students who come to study for a Doctorate. Under the previous system it could take several months for them to get visas.”
In its submission to the review, the Academy proposed that students who wished to come to Australia to study for a higher degree should have access to a visa that recognises them as an asset to Australia, rather than a ‘migration risk’.
“The Academy welcomes the Government’s decision to accept the recommendation we made in our submission to the Review,” said Professor Williamson.
“International cooperation and collaboration is critical to addressing major research challenges and positioning Australia as an international innovation leader into the future.”
Professor Bob Williamson is available for comment on 0409 706 255.
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