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The Gold Coast wants to be classified as ‘regional’ to bring in more migrants

The Gold Coast is lobbying to be reclassified from ‘metro’ to ‘regional’ under Australia’s migration system in order to bring in more skilled migrants and international students. But some say the city already has enough advantage.

The Gold Coast wants to be reclassified as a regional area so it can boost its number of skilled migrants and international students.

The south-east Queensland city is classed as ‘metro’ under the federal government’s migration program, alongside Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. 

That means the Gold Coast won’t benefit from new visas and incentives set to be introduced next month as part of the federal government’s push to ease congestion in the cities and encourage migrants and international students to go regional.

With a population half that of Adelaide, which is considered regional, tertiary institutions in the Gold Coast argue the definition is unfair.

Study Gold Coast chief executive Alfred Slogrove said the city only attracted four per cent of the international student market, compared to Melbourne and Sydney which are home to about 85 per cent of international students.

“We have less than Adelaide, we have the equivalent of other parts of the country that are deemed regional in terms of international student numbers.

“We’re not looking to be treated differently, we’re just looking to be treated the same when it comes to international education.”

From November, international students who graduate from a regional university will be able to work for an extra year in Australia. There will also be 1,000 scholarships worth $15,000 available every year to international students in regional areas.

Study Gold Coast, a consortium of tertiary education providers including Bond and Griffith universities, has submitted a business case to Immigration Minister David Coleman in a bid to change its classification before then.

Source: SBS News

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