New Colombo Plan would help cultural and economic development in the regions

30 Aug 2013

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The Regional Universities Network (RUN) welcomes the release of the Coalition’s policy for a new Colombo Plan for two-way exchange of students between Australia and the region.

RUN Chair David Battersby said, “We would want to ensure that regional universities are full participants in the program.

“Australian students would benefit from studying and working in the Asia-Pacific and bringing back their experience to work as professionals in the regions.

“Regional universities and their communities would benefit from more international students studying in the regions, and facilitating further cultural development and exchange in regional Australia.”

RUN was involved in consultation over the Coalition’s plan and advocates a range of policies to attract international students to study at regional universities. Among these policies are:

  • ·         Providing additional bonus points to students towards Australian residency for attending regional campuses, particularly for those studying in areas of regional skills need;
  • ·         Extending the work rights of international students who study in non-metropolitan locations; and
  • ·         Providing work rights to students who have completed a bachelors or masters at a regional campus regardless of the duration of study.

“Regional universities should be full participants in any new Colombo Plan should the Coalition win government,” Professor Battersby said.

Contact: Dr Caroline Perkins, Executive Director, Regional Universities Network, 0408 482 736

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Issued by: Aaron Hall, RUN Media Adviser, 0402 756 835