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THE NSW government last week issued a warning to international students not to have any dealings with a group purporting to represent their interests.
The Deputy Premier, Andrew Stoner, made public the statement after receiving numerous complaints from universities and legitimate groups about the behaviour of individuals associated with the Overseas Students Association and the National Liaison Committee.
The warning, which was co-signed by 26 peak groups, universities, government departments and cultural outlets, said the group had been using harassing and intimidating behaviour towards members of the legitimate representative group, the Council of International Students Australia.
“CISA has received numerous reports from students who allege they have been harassed and intimidated by OSA representatives,” the warning said.
But its leader, who goes by the name of Master Shang, says that he will make a formal complaint to the NSW Ombudsman and the Australian Human Rights Commission “to make sure Mr Stoner is responsible for his remarks”.
“It’s a direct violation of human rights of international students to organise their own overseas student association on campus,” Mr Shang told the HES.
“We have made a decision to take the government and (University of Technology, Sydney) to the Australian Human Rights Commission for formal complaint.”
The government also warned students not to hand over personal details, including their passport and visa information.
Chin Pok Yap, 23, a Malaysian engineering student from Edith Cowan University, told the HES he was “tricked into joining” the NLC last August.
“They said they were from the government and they declared they were the peak body representing international students,” Mr Yap said.
“I found that the whole group is controlled by Master Shang and he has power over everything. I believe he is after money and power.”
Mr Yap said Mr Shang also tried to get his passport and visa details but when he refused Mr Shang “got very angry”.
“I was not sure what he would do with it, but he got angry when I refused to give it to him.”
When Mr Yap realised the activities of the NLC were not legitimate, he quit three or four months later.
“After I quit, (the NLC) started harassing me and ringing me.
“At first I was a little scared until I contacted my university.
“They threatened to get my visa cancelled and they said I would get in trouble with (the) Immigration (Department).
“I eventually stopped answering their calls.
“They went so far as contacting my sister.
“She didn’t speak to them but they rang her employer and harassed my sister’s boss.”
Mr Shang has now registered the name Council of International Students Australia in NSW.
It’s a similar strategy he used in 2008 when he registered the legitimate, Victorian-based National Liaison Committee in NSW.
“I cannot understand why Andrew Stoner wants to be the public enemy of the Chinese, the Indian, the Muslim and all other multicultural communities in Australia by defaming the NLC,” said NLC national convener ShuYang Sun in a statement.
“Our NLCommunity (sic) contributes $5.5 billion to NSW’s economy; we will decide whether international students come to study in NSW or spend the money elsewhere.”
Mr Stoner’s warning said that the OSA and NLC had been infringing trademark rights by unauthorised use of state governments’ logos on their websites.
In addition, the OSA website “carries false information about discounts” from a range of retailers and cultural outlets to holders of its student safety card. A spokeswoman for Woolworths said the company was attempting to get its logo removed from the website.
Target, Coles and others also said they had no knowledge of the group.
Mr Shang, who became a citizen in 1990, said he was the legitimate representative of Chinese students.
“We are the community. They are my children,” he said.
“The government can have a formal investigation of us to see what we have done wrong.”
Source: JULIE HARE THE AUSTRALIAN
NOVEMBER 13, 2013
What are the requirements to apply for a post study working visa after completing a one year Postgraduate course? What is the fee for this type of visa? What are the criteria for this type of visa, including registration? Do I need to take any exams such as IELTS?
To be eligible for a Post Study Work Visa, you would need to have completed a course or courses taking at least 2 years of study in Australia.
You could potentially use a 1-year postgraduate course as part of the 2-year study requirement, but would need to have completed at least one other qualification taking at least one academic year of study in Australia.
The application fee for a Post Study Work Visa depends on the number of people included in the visa application.
A summary of these is below:
$1· $ 1,440: Main Applicant
$1· $ 720: Each spouse or dependent aged 18 or over
$1· $ 360: Each dependent child aged under 18
Note that a surcharge of $90 applies for each applicant if lodging a paper application rather than an online application.
The main criteria for a Post-Study Work (Subclass 485) Visa are as follows:
$1· Competent English: Minimum of 6 in each of the 4 bands of IELTS, OET B pass or holder of a UK, US, Ireland, Canada or NZ passport
$1· Australian Study: You must have completed qualifications taking at least 2 academic years of study in Australia. The studies must be at the bachelor level or higher, and cannot include Graduate Diplomas or Graduate Certificates unless they gave credits towards completion of a Masters or PhD.
$1· You must lodge your application within 6 months of completion of your Australian studies
$1· You must have applied for your first student visa after 5 November 2011
Note that you may qualify for the Graduate Work Stream of the 485 visa even if you do not meet the above criteria.
Is bridging visa automatically granted for those who apply for 485 visas?
$1· A bridging visa is granted providing a valid application for a 485 visa is lodged.
$1· Where the applicant holds a student visa when they apply for a 485 visa, a Bridging A visa would be granted. This gives full work rights, but ceases if the student leaves Australia. If the student wishes to travel outside Australia during processing of their application, they should apply for a Bridging B visa.
$1· If the student holds a Bridging Visa when they apply for a 485 visa, a Bridging C visa would be granted. This also gives full work rights, but it is not possible to obtain a Bridging B visa to facilitate travel.
$1· Will it affect my migration application if I applied for an exemption/advanced standing on some subjects, meaning I did not complete all the subjects in Australia?
$1· For a student to meet the Australian Study requirement, they must have completed courses taking at least 2 academic years in Australia.
$1· Two academic years is defined by the regulations as studies taking at least 92 weeks as registered on CRICOS (http://cricos.deewr.gov.au/).
$1o If academic exemptions have been granted for overseas studies, then the amount of weeks the student is taken to have completed in Australia is reduced. This can result in the student becoming ineligible for a Temporary Graduate visa if too many exemptions are granted.
$1§ For example – a student completes a Master Degree in Australia which normally requires 16 units and is registered for 104 weeks on CRICOS.
$1§ If they obtain 1 unit exemption for overseas studies, they are taken to have completed: 15/16 * 104 = 97.5 weeks of study. This would meet the Australian study requirement as it is over 92 weeks.
$1§ If they obtain 2 units of exemptions, they are taken to have completed 14/16 * 104 = 91 weeks of study, which would not meet the requirement.
What are the possibilities for an international student to get a working visa without any sponsorship? Can an international student study part time in postgraduate?
$1· Most working visas req
uire sponsorship by an employer.
$1· However, there are a number of options which do not require sponsorship, including:
$1o A Graduate Temporary subclass 485 visa: for students completing qualifications taking at least 2 Academic Years of study in Australia
$1o A Working Holiday subclass 417 visa: for people aged under 31 who hold passports from certain countries only
$1o It is also possible to use a visitor visa or student visa to explore business opportunities and in some cases establish a business in Australia. In this case, it may be possible for the student to “self-sponsor” for a 457 visa. The business would need to be relatively well established and have Australian workers for this to be possible.
If studying in Australia on a student visa, the student must study full time, even if this is at postgraduate level.
$1· Students who are studying a masters degree by research or doctoral degree can work full time once they have commenced their studies.
$1· Spouses and partners of students completing a master or doctoral degree can work full time also.
What are the requirements for English for the post study working visa?
$1· Students must show that they have Competent English to qualify for a Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 visa. There are three ways of establishing this:
$1o Minimum of 6 in each of the 4 bands of IELTS
$1o OET B pass
$1o Being a holder of a UK, US, Ireland, Canada or NZ passport
$1· If testing is required, it must be conducted prior to lodgement of the 485 visa. Tests up to 3 years old can be used for the purposes of General Skilled Migration.
After graduation, what do I need to do to apply for skill migration (permanent visa)? What are the conditions and procedure?
$1· There are a number of different General Skilled Migration types, and the process depends on which of these you are going for:
$1o Skilled Independent Subclass 189: this requires an occupation on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) but does not require sponsorship by a relative or state/territory government
$1o Skilled Nominated Subclass 190: this requires an occupation on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List and a nomination by a state or territory government
$1o Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489: requires either sponsorship by a relative living in a designated area or by a state or territory government
$1· In general, the application process for General Skilled Migration is as follows:
$1o Complete English language testing
$1o Complete Skills Assessment
$1o Make Expression of Interest through SkillSelect
$1o For subclass 190 or 489, complete state nomination
$1o Once a SkillSelect invitation is received, make the application for a skilled migration visa
$1o Complete Health and Police checks
$1o Only once the SkillSelect Invitation is received and the application for the skilled migration visa is lodged would a student receive a bridging visa.
$1· Many students do not have sufficient time to go through all the required processes before their stu
dent visas expire and so must rely on making an application for a Graduate Temporary subclass 485 visa on completion of their studies.
What are the chances that I would be employed here in Australia after I finish my course?
It’s difficult to give a general answer to this question. However, you can improve your chances of obtaining a skilled job by:
$1· Improve your English Language Ability: improving your communication skills will significantly increase your effectiveness in an interview
$1· Seeking work in your field during your studies: even if you work as an unpaid intern in your occupation, this can make your CV more impressive and help you to make contacts with potential employers
$1· Making use of the University Careers Centre: the Careers Centre can give you tips on preparing your resume and interview technique, as well as give you information on potential employers in your field
$1· Professional Year: if you are studying IT, Engineering or Accounting, you can complete a Professional Year after your studies. As this involves an internship, as well as workplace skills training, this can greatly enhance your chance of getting a skilled job after your studies
$1· Making friends with your Australian classmates: Most jobs are not advertised and the better your contacts, the more likely you will be aware of job opportunities which arise
My postgraduate research sector visa (subclass 574) expires on 28 Feb 2015. How long I can stay in Australia after my projected PhD thesis submission on March 2014?
$1· If your visa was granted after 5 November 2011, your 574 visa should be valid for 6 months after the usual duration of your course. This gives you additional time to allow for marking and re-submission of your thesis.
$1o Once your thesis has been accepted and you have met the requirements for award of your qualification, you should look at applying for a visa for further stay in Australia as soon as possible.
$1o Once you have met requirements for award of your qualification, your university will notify the Department of Immigration that you have completed. Unless you have applied for further stay, it’s quite possible that the Department of Immigration will look at cancelling your visa.
$1· If marking takes longer than 6 months, you may need to either extend your student visa or notify the Department of Immigration that marking is taking longer than anticipated.
$1· It appears that your 574 visa will be valid for almost 12 months after submission of your thesis. Your visa will allow you to remain in Australia for 6 months after submission or until your thesis is accepted, whichever is sooner. I would recommend that you look at visa options to extend your stay once your thesis is marked, and would certainly not rely on remaining in Australia for 12 months after submission on your current 574 visa.
What are the requirements for the 457 employer sponsor visa?
There are three stages to the 457 visa application :
$11. Sponsorship: Employer would need to apply for approval as a Standard Business Sponsor. To get this approval, the business will need to provide evidence of financial position, record of training Australians in the business to at least 1% of payroll (unless sponsor is an overseas entity).
$12. Nomination: Employer has to apply for permission to fill a nominated position with overseas national. The position needs to meet minimum salary requirements – currently $53,900 minimum annual salary and also be at the applicable market rate. Your occupation needs to be on the approved list of occupations (CSOL).
$13. Personal: Employee has to demonstrate they have skills necessary to fill the position, meet English requirements (Vocational English – minimum of 5 in each of the 4 components of IELTS) and all members of the family travelling to Australia must meet health requirements
Will I be eligible for the post study working visa if I completed one year master from another university and now I am doing a second master from UWS? I came to Australia before November, however my course started in Feb 2012.
$1· If you came to Australia prior to November 2011, you will unfortunately not be eligible for a Post Study Work Visa. You may, however, be eligible for a 485 visa in the Graduate Work stream.
$1· It is possible to use two master degree qualifications to meet the required Australian study requirement. The total numb
er of weeks required to complete the qualifications must be at least 92 weeks as registered on CRICOS, and caution must be used if there have been academic exemptions.
Are students allowed to partake in business such as Import/Export or any sole proprietor business in Australia?
$1· Students are allowed to start a business in Australia whilst holding a student visa. However, students should be cautious about the following:
$1o Not exceeding the 40 hours per fortnight limitation 8105/8104
$1o Ensuring that they have all the relevant business registrations and licensing, and make the necessary tax lodgements
$1o Students should consult an accountant to ensure that their business is properly set up to trade lawfully in Australia.
What steps would be required to change from a Post Study Work Arrangements Visa to a Permanent Residency Visa? How long would this process take?
$1· There are a number of permanent residency options which students can look at whilst on a Post Study Work visa. These include:
$1o General Skilled Migration: outlined above
$1o Employer Sponsorship: if you have a job offer with an Australian employer
$1o Family Sponsorship: if you have an Australian partner or other relatives in Australia.
$1o Processing times vary depending on which option you choose, but can take anywhere from 3-4 months to 12-18 months.
As a PhD student of marketing, what visa can I apply for as a Tutor or lecturer? When should I apply for it? How long does it take to process?
$1· The occupations of Tutor and Lecturer are on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL) but not on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL).
$1· This means that you can apply for employer sponsored or state/territory sponsored visas, but not for the skilled independent subclass 189 visa.
$1· In terms of the Graduate Temporary subclass 485 visa, you could apply for the Post Study Work stream, but not for the Graduate Work Stream.
$1· To qualify for the Post Study Work stream, you would need to have applied for your first student visa prior to 5 November 2011. However, there is no occupations list and you can use potentially any qualifications at the bachelor, master or doctorate level regardless of which discipline you have studied in.
$1· To qualify for the Graduate Work stream, you must nominate an occupation on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL). Unfortunately, the occupations of marketing specialist, university lecturer and university tutor are not on the Skilled Occupations List.
I applied for a student visa before Nov 2011, doing a course on SOL, but by the time I am finished, the course is no longer on SOL, how do I get a work permit then?
$1· If your occupation is no longer on the SOL, then it may not be possible to apply for Graduate Work Stream.
$1· The following options require your occupation to be on the CSOL, which is much wider than the SOL:
$1o Employer Sponsorship
$1o State/Territory Nomination: ie the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 or the Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489 visa
$1· If you are unable to lodge prior to the expiry of your current student visa, you may need to either:
$1o Extend your studies in Australia; or
$1o Await the outcome of your application overseas
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THE Abbott government yesterday moved to loosen visa restrictions to attract international students, prompting calls for increased funding for regulators to ensure there was no return to the “visa factory” that marked the height of the 2008-09 higher education boom.
From next year, tougher restrictions on students from countries with the highest risk of visa fraud will be scrapped, effectively reducing the cash such applicants are required to have in the bank to support themselves during their study.
The government has also fast-tracked a decision to extend streamlined visa processing beyond the university sector to 22 TAFEs and private providers that deliver bachelor degrees and higher qualifications.
The government wants to boost international student revenue from about $15 billion last year back to the former peak of almost $19bn. “The changes will assist all providers, but particularly the vocational education and training sector, making access to Australia’s education system more attractive for overseas students,” Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said.
TAFE Directors Australia’s head of international engagement Peter Holden welcomed the move, noting that the previous Labor government had not acted on a vow to extend streamlined processing, instead sitting on a decision for 18 months.
Mr Holden said he was disappointed that it remained limited to bachelor degree- and higher-qualification students, noting that public TAFEs should be trusted to monitor students doing sub-degree programs.
He said the loosening of restrictions should be matched by more resources for the Australian Skills Quality Authority to adequately monitor the sector. “We would be looking to ASQA to maintain, if not increase their surveillance.” Phil Honeywood, head of the International Education Association of Australia, also urged the government to extend the streamlined system to reputable vocational providers offering diplomas and certificates.
He was confident that scrutiny on degree-granting providers was sufficient, but extending streamlined processing to students undertaking diplomas and certificates would need to be backed by sufficient monitoring.
Adrian McCoomb, head of the Council of Private Higher Education, was delighted, saying that under Labor it had been a “debacle” trying to get approval for private providers to compete for international students on equal terms with universities.
Opposition higher education spokesman Kim Carr said the government should be cautious. “The advice provided to me during my time as minister was that the quality of the companies operating in this area varied considerably and that unsustainable levels of international students can lead to further questions about the quality of education.”
Source: ANDREW TROUNSON, THE AUSTRALIAN OCTOBER 30, 2013
The number of visa applications granted for overseas students to study in Australia has increased by approximately 4% marking the second year in a row of growth for the sector.
Numbers had previously been falling but the financial year 2012/2013 has seen figures rise with the previous year of 290,761 applications lodged compared with 280,003, according to data from the annual Student Visa Programme Trends report.
In the second quarter of 2013, approximately 93% of visa applications assessed during this period were granted a visa.
The report shows that student visa numbers have returned to a sustainable growth over the last two years and this is part of a broader trend throughout the past 10 years.
The report states that this growth has been driven by applications lodged outside of Australia which increased by 11.1% in the same period and there were 304,251 student visa holders in Australia as of 30 June 2013. Of these visa holders, 23.4% were from China, the largest cohort, followed by 10% from India.
During the June 2013 quarter, 75% of all student visas were processed within 30 days, while 50% were processed within 14 days. About 93% of applications assessed during this period were granted a visa.
International students must have a valid visa for the duration of their studies in Australia. Most international students will need a student visa. However, visitor visas permit up to three months study and working holiday maker visas permit up to four months study.
To be eligible for a student visa, applicants must be accepted for full time study in a course listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS.) Applicants must also meet financial, health insurance, English language proficiency and character requirements.
There is no limit on the number of student visas issued each year. If applicants meet requirements, they will be granted a student visa. Student visas are issued for the entire period of study in Australia. Visas are issued in alignment with the period for which the applicant has Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC.)
There are two other visas related to the student visa programme, the Student Guardian (subclass 580) visa and the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa. The Student Guardian visa is for individuals who wish to accompany and care for minors studying in Australia. The Temporary Graduate visa allows international students to live and work in Australia temporarily after they have finished their studies.
Student visas include a condition that, once the course has commenced, allows most students to work for up to 40 hours per fortnight while their course is in session and for unlimited hours during course breaks.
There can be some confusion about working hours but students are urged to make sure that they know what they are permitted to do. ‘The limitation imposed by this visa condition reflects the purpose of a student visa; that it is to allow entry to Australia in order to study, not to work. Secondary visa holders are subject to a visa condition that limits them to 40 hours work per fortnight at any time,’ said an immigration spokesman.
Education Minister Christopher Pyne: “We need new architecture in international education.” Picture: Ray Strange. Source: The Australian
EDUCATION Minister Christopher Pyne has promised to open the jobs market to more overseas students who have graduated from Australian universities, as a means of rehabilitating the stagnant $14 billion international education industry.
In his first speech on the industry since he was sworn in as minister, Mr Pyne said yesterday the Abbott government would move quickly to extend the streamlined visa process beyond universities to training colleges, and maximise career opportunities in Australia for the best foreign graduates of our universities.
Monash University researcher Bob Birrell said he was troubled by any policy changes that used migration or easier labour market access as a lure to sell education, especially if it encouraged a repeat of last decade’s boom in low-quality diplomas pitched at foreign students seeking permanent residency.
“We know from past experience there are literally hundreds of operators who are skilled in packaging courses that provide the cheapest possible entry,” Dr Birrell said.
Under the Howard government, which linked gaining an Australian tertiary qualification with permanent residency, thousands of students swarmed into low-level vocational diplomas and dozens of dodgy private colleges exploited the lax policy.
Mr Pyne acknowledged past abuses and said preventing any repeat would be “very much part of our planning, to get that right”.
“But Labor used a sledgehammer to break a walnut (following the excesses of the education-migration boom) and we don’t want to repeat that error. But we also don’t want to go back to a situation where people lose faith in the quality of education in Australia.”
Mr Pyne told the Australian International Education Conference in Canberra he would work with Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to maximise the international student market while maintaining visa integrity and educational quality.
Universities Australia welcomed Mr Pyne’s speech as showing the government’s intention “to turbo-charge international education policy against a backdrop of declining enrolments and export revenue”.
A report from accountancy firm Deloitte yesterday identified education exports as one of five “super-growth” sectors offering prosperity as the mining investment boom recedes.
At yesterday’s conference, attended by several hundred education delegates from around the world, Mr Pyne said Labor had presided over a decline in education exports from $18.6bn in 2009 to a little more than $14bn last year – “quite an achievement in a growing economy”.
He cited forecasts that the Asia-Pacific middle class would rise from 500 million to 3.2 billion by 2030, and that the number of young people in the world looking to study abroad would double to more than seven million by 2020.
The National Tertiary Education Union said last night it feared Mr Pyne’s proposal was part of a broader government strategy to avoid increasing taxpayer funding to universities.
Jeannie Rea, the union’s national president, said the government was seeking to increase international student fee revenue to universities rather than plug the direct funding gap faced by universities. “It becomes a cross subsidisation,” Ms Rea said.
Source: THE AUSTRALIAN , BERNARD LANE , OCTOBER 10, 2013
Nearly three-quarters of Australians believe international students should be encouraged to stay in the country after completing their university studies, according to a survey.
Universities Australia has released research on perceptions of the tertiary sector on the eve of this week’s higher education conference in Canberra.
About 80 per cent of 300 business representatives surveyed and 72 per cent of 1000 members of the public said international students should be encouraged to stay in Australia on completion of their studies, particularly if sponsored by an employer.
”However, some stakeholder respondents have voiced concerns that the university system is perceived to be too heavily reliant on income from international student enrolments,” the report said.
”There is also a view that additional support, for instance with English language learning and better facilities such as affordable student housing, may be required.
”Participants were generally comfortable about the proportion of internationally students, at roughly 20 per cent.”
The study found Australian universities were generally well regarded, with 88 per cent of the surveyed public saying they would encourage their child or young people they knew to attend university.
Most saw the main role of universities to educate for skilled/professional jobs, with far fewer identifying the sector’s contribution to research and development – something Universities Australia described as being of ”some concern”.
Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson said the study showed that people strongly valued international students, who helped build deep cultural ties with their fellow students and the wider community.
”International students are also playing a pivotal role in increasing our engagement with Asian nations during this Asian Century,” she said.
”They are helping Australia forge valuable links with their home countries, providing a cross-cultural dialogue with domestic students and sustaining ongoing relationships with Australia in their post-student lives.”
A spokesman for Universities Australia said the polling involved qualitative and quantitative research, including focus groups and surveys of the public and business.
He said the data was weighted to be representative of the Australian population and the whole business community.
The higher education conference, running from Wednesday to Friday, will include keynote speeches by new Tertiary Education Minister Chris Bowen, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, Universities Australia chairman Glyn Davis, and former Treasury secretary Ken Henry.
By Daniel Hurst Feb. 26, 2013
Source: NewCastle Herald
Professor Lesleyanne Hawthorne writes:
Amid Australia’s ongoing doctor shortage, the health system risks losing dozens of Australian-trained, foreign-born doctors because of a shortage of intern places. The Australian Medical Students Association estimates the system needs 182 intern places to ensure all international students can finish their medical training and gain full registration as doctors.
These intern, (or post-graduate year one) places, are based in hospitals, which are run by the states. But the Commonwealth also bears some funding responsibility for medical training. The Commonwealth, state and territory health ministers are expected to discuss who should pay and potential solutions to the problem when they meet tomorrow in Perth.
Rise of international student migration
Over the past decade, international students have emerged as a prized and contested human capital resource. OECD and select Asian countries are expanding their international student flows, through global promotion strategies and regional migration programs, aligned with lower entry requirements, including for medical degrees.
International students have been immensely responsive to these migration options. In 1975, 600,000 international students were enrolled abroad, compared with 3.4 million in 2009. By 2025, it is predicted there will be 7.2 million international students studying globally.
A recent British Council survey of 153,000 international students confirmed opportunities for migration exert an extraordinary impact on the choice of study destination. While students sought a high quality, internationally recognised education, the scope to remain and work was found to “massively impact” both decisions and expectations.
In 1999, following the removal of a three-year eligibility bar, international students became immediately eligible to migrate to Australia. Within six years of the policy change, 52% of skilled migrants were selected onshore.
By 2010, 630,000 international students were enrolled in Australian courses (all fields and sectors). Of these, 18,487 were undertaking health degrees, including over 3,000 medical and 10,000 nursing students. International medical student graduates grew 223% from 1999 to 2009, compared with 52% growth in Australian domestic graduates.
International medical students
In 2009, the majority of international medical students were enrolled at
- New South Wales and
- Sydney universities.
Their source countries were highly diverse – most notably
- Malaysia (1,134 students),
- Singapore (577),
- Canada (437),
- the United States (84) and
- Botswana (74), followed by
- South Korea,
- Hong Kong,
- Indonesia and
- Sri Lanka.
These international students achieve stellar rates of immediate employment and are highly attractive to local employers. As demonstrated by yet-to-be-published research conducted for the Medical Deans of Australia, 45% of international students plan to remain in Australia when they commence their studies. By their final year, 78% accept intern places (virtually all those who are not scholarship students sponsored by their home governments).
Australia’s Graduate Destination Survey from 2009-2011 reveals their employment outcomes to be near identical to those achieved by domestic students (99.6% working full-time at four months compared with 99.7%). The source country was almost irrelevant, with 100% of Canadian, US, Malaysian, Indonesian, Taiwanese, Norwegian and Botswanan students fully employed, compared with 97% from Singapore and 89% from China.
International medical graduates
As affirmed by the OECD, Australia has developed extraordinary reliance on international medical graduates (IMGs), who gain their qualifications overseas.
By 2006, 45% of Australian residents holding medical qualifications were overseas-born, including an estimated 25% who were overseas-qualified. The United Kingdom/Ireland, China, India, North Africa/ Middle East, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa and the Philippines were major sources of migration.
This diversification of supply has proven extremely challenging for Australia. The 2006 census shows just 53% of IMGs secured medical employment in Australia in their first five years of residence (across all immigration categories).
Doctors from English-speaking background countries moved seamlessly into work, while Commonwealth-Asian doctors fared reasonably. Outcomes were poor, by contrast, for many birthplace groups. Just 6% of doctors from China found medical employment within five years, along with 23% from Vietnam and 31% from Eastern Europe.
Employment access is significantly better for IMGs selected through the 457 visa temporary sponsored pathway. From 2005-06 to 2010-11 17,910 doctors were sponsored as temporary 457 visa migrants to pre-arranged jobs, with a 99% immediate employment rate.
From 2004-05 to 2010-11, an additional 2,790 IMGs were admitted through the permanent General Skilled Migration category. But not all passed the Australian Medical Council examinations, which are a requirement for unconditional registration in Australia. From 1978 to 2010, 82% of candidates passed the MCQ (the standard theoretical examination), typically on their first or second attempt, along with 85% of clinical candidates. But overall AMC completion rates were just 43%, since many choose not to persist with the process.
Large numbers of IMGs face significant barriers to securing professional registration. By contrast, international medical students face no impediments: they’re of prime workforce age (far younger than IMGs) and have self-funded to meet Australian domestic requirements.
Medical students’ future
We know that large numbers of international medical students wish to migrate to Australia – and access to intern places is critical for them to secure permanent resident status.
If Australia fails to retain these graduates, other countries will. Singapore, for instance, actively recruits in Australia, in a context where the nation’s fertility rate is incredibly low. New Zealand annually registers over 1,200 IMGs per year, but two-thirds will have left within two years. So there is major interest in attracting Australian-trained graduates.
If Australia is serious about retaining international medical students in the future, it’s vital to provide access to intern training places. While the students’ long-term intentions are unknown, it’s clear they have great potential to address Australian workforce shortages in the future.
** Lesleyanne Hawthorne is Professor of International Health Workforce, at the Australian Health Workforce Institute, University of Melbourne
The Australian National University (ANU) and University of Canberra have increased their international student numbers, bucking the national trend. So far this year the ANU has enrolled 5,392 international students. That is 40 more than in 2011. At the University of Canberra (UC) overseas students increased by 4 per cent in semester one to 2,130. Nationally, the number of international students has fallen 7 per cent for the year to September, with several interstate universities blaming the high Australian dollar.
ANU Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington says the national capital remains an attractive place to study. “What it comes down to is reputation for the quality of study, research reputation. Even simple things like is the environment a good place to live and is it a safe place to live?” she said.”All of those things are big ticks for Canberra.”
Professor Hughes-Warrington says the biggest growth has been in post-graduate study. “There’s an evolution towards graduate offerings and research offerings at ANU,” she said. “We’re seen as really strong in those areas because we’re such a strong research institution. We are increasingly seeing ourselves as a graduate destination of choice for students from around the world.”
SOURCE: ABC Online
By Clarissa Thorpe
With seven of the world’s top 100 universities, Australia has confirmed its position as one of the world’s leading destinations for international students.
Australia has always punched above its weight in the QS World University Rankings, and 2012 is no exception. In fact, Australia’s haul of seven universities in the global top 100 is bettered only by the US and UK.
This tally includes all but one of Australia’s elite Group of Eight, the universities at which the bulk of the nation’s cutting-edge research has traditionally taken place.
- Australia National University leads the pack in 24th place, extending its lead over second-placed
- University of Melbourne, which drops slightly to 36.
Fellow Group of Eight members
- University of Sydney (39) and
- University of Queensland (46) make the global top 50, with a further three Aussie universities in the top 100:
- University of New South Wales (52),
- Monash University(61), and
- University of Western Australia (79).
Great job prospects
So what makes Australian universities stand out? A big strength is their reputation among international employers, which will be good news both for Australian graduates and the 240,000 international students who study there each year.
Interestingly, employers identify the University of Melbourne as the nation’s top producer of graduate talent, and ninth in the world in this measure. The rest of the Group of Eight also performs strongly in this measure, alongside other Australian institutions such as RMIT University and the University of Wollongong.
This high level of international recognition for Australian graduates is testament to Australian universities’ success in preparing candidates for the workplace. Employers are asked to identify the universities that produce the best graduates, meaning the leading Australian universities are regarded as a great place to find highly skilled employees.
Global student mix
Australian universities’ success may also be linked to another factor: their internationally diverse character. Australian universities were among the first to really embrace internationalization, and as a result the campuses are meeting points for students and academics from all over the world.