Goal 6: Enhancing mobility

Australia will maximise student, academic and researcher mobility.

Action 6.1

Supporting international mobility through practical visa settings and work arrangements

Australia welcomes international students, academics and researchers from around the world. This contributes to lifting our capacity for world-class education, training and research.

Australia offers a range of visa options to facilitate the entry of students, academics and researchers. These visa policy settings also enable international students on a student visa to undertake part-time work while studying, which helps to maximise graduate outcomes. This is a significant benefit for the student and a competitive advantage for Australia.

We will continually evaluate our visa settings to ensure we offer a fair and accessible system to encourage the most talented students, academic staff and researchers to come to Australia.

Australia will:

  • maintain competitive visa settings that facilitate the mobility of international students, academics and researchers
  • provide accurate and reliable information to international students on their visa conditions and work opportunities.

Action 6.2

Expanding student, education and training professional and researcher mobility

Arrangements that expand mobility opportunities allow students, professionals and researchers to take advantage of education, training, research and employment in other countries. This can enhance learning and experience, as well as future career and collaboration opportunities.

We have a particular focus on engaging with our Indo-Pacific neighbours to develop transformational relationships in our region and a more regionally engaged Australian workforce. Australia’s investment in scholarships—such as the Australia Awards, Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships, Endeavour Mobility Grants and the New Colombo Plan—to enable study, research and professional development in Australia, and for Australians to do the same overseas, is one of the largest in the world.

Our efforts are complemented by scholarships and mobility offerings from other countries. Scholarships provided by partner governments to their citizens indicate that Australia is regarded as a highly attractive destination. 

Australia will:

  • support student, education and training professional and researcher mobility through scholarships and other offerings
  • build partnerships with other countries to support mobility.
A female student on horseback, rounding up cattle.Ms Firdha Rosemalinda Paulina, a participant in the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association Indonesia-Australia Pastoral Industry Student Program. International student exchange creates mutual understanding, respect and lifelong connections.

New Colombo Plan

Under the New Colombo Plan, 10,000 Australian undergraduates are being supported to study and intern in the Indo-Pacific from 2014–2016. The program is enhancing understanding between Australia and other countries in our region, providing Australian students with new opportunities to study and intern in world class universities and companies, and providing valuable experience that enhances students’ employability upon graduation. The program will expand further in the period 2016–2018.

Action 6.3

Supporting graduates through qualifications recognition

Positive qualifications recognition practices underpin the partnerships, linkages and collaborations that support successful mobility and a globally mobile workforce.

Australia promotes positive qualifications recognition practices to support students and workers. Australian qualifications are highly regarded and widely accepted around the world. The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) ensures consistency in qualification types and learning outcomes, quality of qualifications approved against high-quality national standards, and portability of easily understood qualifications. The AQF, as an integrated national policy, guarantees national standards in education and training to support transparency in the recognition of Australian qualifications overseas. The AQF covers qualifications from schools, higher education, and vocational education and training to support national and international mobility. 

Through sustained international cooperation, we can shape positive qualifications and skills recognition practices relevant to a globally mobile workforce. The ultimate goal is to achieve borderless mobility through acceptance of the quality and relevance of Australian education, training and professions. As a global partner, Australia also has a responsibility to support the positive recognition of overseas qualifications, while upholding the integrity of professional standards.

Australia will:

  • provide leadership on qualifications recognition domestically and internationally to support improved recognition practices
  • promote Australia's quality assured qualifications internationally to build trust, acceptance and recognition overseas.