Australia’s new government modifies ministerial sign-off rule for PhD changes

July 2022

As reported by John Ross in Times Higher Education, Australia’s new government has significantly watered down a proposed rule barring international postgraduates from changing their course, theses or research topics without prior approval from the Minister for Home Affairs. Ross’s THE report outlines the following changes:

‘Under new instructions issued by the minister, Clare O’Neill, foreigners will only require her approval to change their studies from unrelated disciplines to “fields associated with certain specified critical technologies”.

Students will not need sign-off for courses or activities similar to those outlined in their original visa applications.

The requirement, which was due to apply from 1 July, will now only take effect after the minister has issued a “legislative instrument” identifying the critical technologies involved.

Read the full THE piece at (sign-in required)