Migration reforms will help support national development 


Universities Australia today endorsed the aim of the Government’s proposed migration reforms to encourage the best and brightest – people with advanced skills and qualifications – to migrate to Australia.

The reforms include improving occupational listing, encouragement of state and territory migration plans, reviewing the points system with emphasis on applicants with advanced qualifications, and reduced queuing for independent migration applicants.

“In recent consultations with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Universities Australia called for a review to turn around the emergence of low skill migration entry and lengthy queuing for applicants. The changes announced today will help with redress of that situation,” said Universities Australia Chief Executive, Dr Glenn Withers.

“Universities Australia is pleased that the Government has anticipated the need for transition arrangements into migration for current international students, who will be able to apply for permanent residence if their occupation is listed on the new Skilled Occupation List, or be given additional time to work and seek sponsorship from an Australian employer," Dr Withers said.

“Unfortunately, some uncertainty will continue to exist for international students in Australia who arrived under prior arrangements.

“Universities Australia will continue to work in partnership with Skills Australia on occupational priorities, and with the government in the review of the points system and ongoing improvements in program design and management. Support for highly qualified international students to study at Australian universities and bring benefit to Australian development will be a focus in that collaboration.

“For the present, these migration reforms will strengthen an historically strong program and provide a foundation to make it even more robust and responsive to Australia’s requirements in the coming decades,” he said.

Universities Australia’s submission to DIAC can be found at: http://www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au/documents/publications/policy/submissions/UniAus-Migration-Submission-2010.pdf