The Senate subcommittee has recently issued 29 recommendations to the Australian government, aiming to aid the international education sector in its recovery and growth after the pandemic. Emphasising sustainable development, the recommendations are crucial in reshaping the sector’s future.
The Trade Subcommittee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade released its inaugural report, anticipated since October 2022. One of the key proposals involves the formation of “Team Australia” for a strategic five-year market diversification plan. These proposed changes are expected to impact education agents significantly.
To ensure the effectiveness of education agents, the government must strategize an efficient monitoring approach, given their vital role in guiding temporary migration and assisting vulnerable consumers. Additionally, targeted communication is crucial to inform international students about their rights and responsibilities while studying in Australia. It is recommended to incorporate questions about education agents into the Quality Indicators for Teaching and Learning Surveys.
The government should explore differentiated visa applications for students opting for technical and further education institutions (TAFEs). Simultaneously, efforts should be made to enhance protections for international students, particularly concerning workplace exploitation, warranting a thorough review and improvement of existing safety measures.
MP Julian Hill has proposed maximising homestays and purpose-built accommodations to alleviate housing shortages. Homestays not only address housing needs but also promote deeper connections between international students and Australian society. Moreover, Hill has identified potential markets for the sector, including Vietnam, India, Indonesia, South America, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Philippines. She concluded that the document “establishes the groundwork for a more comprehensive examination of the substantial convergence of international education and tourism in contemporary Australia.”