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International students denied formal internships in Federal Parliament

Wing Kuang

Mon Jul 16 2018


International university students are no longer eligible for internships inside the offices of Australia’s members of Parliament.

Parliamentary internships organised through Australian National University’s (ANU) competitive Australian National Internship Program (ANIP) will now be restricted to Australian citizens as reported concerns around potential foreign espionage and interference in Australian politics continue to mount. The three-month research-based internship program was previously available to all students of all nationalities, so long as applying interns did not possess a criminal record.

According to ANU’s website, “ANIP is the only university program that offers Australian Commonwealth Parliamentary Internships”. Interns placed in Parliament are provided with an invaluable opportunity to “engage with a range of activities that shape national policymaking”.

Although international students are now denied placement opportunities at Parliament, ANU will continue accepting ANIP applications from international students and place successful applicants at other non-government host institutions.

Furthermore, individual MPs who wish to offer international students an internship experience may still do so under an informal basis.