THE federal government has announced several changes to student visa arrangements to allow more international students to study at Australian universities.
The federal government has resumed granting international student visas lodged outside of Australia, and international students studying online can count the study they complete online towards a post-work visa.
International students will also be given extra time to provide English language results in cases where coronavirus has affected their access to the necessary services.
Deakin vice-chancellor professor Iain Martin said these changes were crucial to helping universities recuperate.
“Deakin welcomes the federal government’s announcement of new visa measures, which provide flexibility and support for our international students, now and on the road out of the pandemic.
“International students, at Deakin and all Australian universities, will have an essential role in our recovery from COVID-19.
“Australia must remain competitive and attractive as an international student destination and be ready to embrace the opportunities as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.”
International students contribute about $40 billion to Australia’s economy annually, but federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said the benefits were not purely economical.
“As well as supporting jobs, international education builds our connection to the rest of the world and supports a number of critical industries like health, aged and disability care.”
Earlier in the year, Deakin University dedicated $25 million to international students experiencing hardship due to coronavirus. Deakin cited the lack of government assistance as part of the reasoning for allocating these funds.
Professor Martin said the university would continue to support international students.
“As soon as we are able, Deakin stands ready to welcome and support returning international students.
“We will continue to do everything we can to ensure their safety and wellbeing. We look forward to welcoming new enrolments from students all around the world.”