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Australian Universities Critical of Government on Visas Immigration and Population “Debates”

Unis angry over visa rule changes. AUSTRALIA’S leading research universities have lashed out at the federal government for failing to tackle problems caused by changes to student visa rules.

”We just went through an unedifying election where the leaders of the two main parties put up the ‘not welcome here’ sign in flashing lights,” said Michael Gallagher, executive director of the so-called Group of Eight universities.

”Their messages were geared to domestic audiences but they resonated with international audiences too,” he said.

”They have done damage to Australia’s reputation abroad as a welcoming society that values ideas and diversity. They have a responsibility to rectify the problem.”

Mr Gallagher said a press release sent out by Immigration Minister Chris Evans earlier this week headed “Australia continues to welcome international students” was not an acceptable response.

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