Explaining his invitation for foreign students to live in SA‚ he said: “No country can produce all of the skills it needs… Skilled immigrants make an important contribution in destination economies”.
“International students are especially advantageous‚ as their qualifications have been obtained here in South Africa and are thus able to transition seamlessly into their chosen fields‚” Gigaba said.
Pledging to ensure efficiency in the issuing of study visas‚ he said: “We want South Africa to be at the top of list of destinations for prospective students across Africa and the world”.
Gigaba also asked delegates to share the biggest challenges they are facing as international students in SA.
“When you work for Home Affairs you quickly develop a thick skin‚ you don’t need to worry about our feelings. We want to hear your concerns‚ your criticisms and your aspirations.”
Gigaba proposed that the conference address nation building and social cohesion in SA as part of its discussions. “We are a young country on a young continent‚ in the most dynamic period of political‚ economic and social change humanity has ever known.
“Where previously our discourse on what has been called the ‘national question’‚ was about uniting Africans‚ coloureds‚ Indians and whites‚ it now must expand to include visitors to our country and new South Africans from all over the African continent and world.”
-Source Sowetan RSA