The Australian Greens welcome the Senate report into International Education and hope that the Federal Government moves quickly on recommendations rather than letting the issue slide, according to Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
"This is a unanimous report which means that there is no excuse for not taking quick action - we hope that the recommendations will be fed directly into the Baird Review,'' Senator Hanson-Young, the Greens spokesperson on Education, said.
"International Education is Australia's third largest export, if we don't act now we risk further damage to our international reputation as well to Australia's budget bottom line.
"The Greens continue to call for the Government to show that it takes this issue seriously, by creating a dedicated parliamentary secretary for international education.
The report has produced several important recommendations, including the extension of the role of the Commonwealth Ombudsman to cover international education, the registration of qualified education agents to be used by providers, and nationally consistent student concession cards for public transport.
"The Greens have called for a national student card for all students (domestic and international) that is recognised across all states, so we welcome this report recommendation,'‘ Senator Hanson-Young said.
"The committee recognised problems in the area of work rights and restrictions that are putting students at risk of exploitation.
"The events of the past year clearly point to the need for better protection for international students, so we also welcome the recommendation calling for better personal student safety.
"Providing a safe environment for students to study is a fairly basic principle of any education system. We must do all we can to ensure that there is no repeat of the stories of assaults on and intimidation of international students.''
"There is clearly a lot of concern about this education sector and we look forward to the Federal Government producing a timely response to the report early in the New Year.''