September 19, 2020

Research shows that Australia continues to be one of the most affordable overseas study destinations, with costs of living and course fees significantly lower than the USA and UK. Reports that Australia will significantly increase tuition fees and other costs are not correct. In spite of its small population, Australia has the third largest number of international students of English speaking nations.

Research shows that Australia continues to be one of the most affordable overseas study destinations, with costs of living and course fees significantly lower than the USA and UK. Reports that Australia will significantly increase tuition fees and other costs are not correct. In spite of its small population, Australia has the third largest number of international students of English speaking nations.

Reasons to be cheerful: Australia adds up for international students

New data from English language testing company IDP Education is sending an upbeat signal to Australian universities that international students may be ready to come back in big numbers as COVID-19 begins to receding.

When IDP Education published its results in August it said anecdotally 74 per cent of overseas students wanted to resume their studies once the pandemic was over.

“International students know the cost of study in Australia and they know the limits of post-study work rights, but they are still keen to come,” says Andrew Barkla from IDP Education.

In an interview with The Australian Financial Review on Thursday, chief executive Andrew Barkla said the company now had hard numbers showing “a pipeline of 82,000 students who have applications for the next six months and are ready to go”.

Given Australia accounts for 47 per cent of the student volumes that IDP places internationally, Mr Barkla agreed it was reasonable to expect at least 38,000 customers of the company were thinking of coming to Australia.

And given that 120,000 international enrolments could be expected in Australian universities in 2021, the fact that one provider alone could speak for up to a third of that volume was encouraging.

IDP has a dominant position with the International English Language Testing System, which it developed with the British Council and Cambridge University.

“These are students who want an onshore campus experience. But more than that they know their circumstances,” Mr Barkla said.

“They understand the price the universities charge. They know the cost of living and how the dials are set for post-study work rights. So they have the complete picture and they still want to come.”

The next step was for government to send a signal that the door is open to international students. Pilot programs to fly students to Australia were important even if the numbers were only small because they signalled a government commitment to the scheme.

Pilot programs needed

“We need to get these pilot programs moving. We need a level of public confidence so students and families see they can be done in a secure and safe way that benefits the public as well as the students,” Mr Barkla said.

“Pilot programs are a signpost that Australia is prioritising the opening up of the international sector.”

The Northern Territory said it would accept 100 international students and South Australia will take 300, although neither has committed to a date. By contrast, the UK is taking any international student arrivals and Canada is accepting any who can proved face-to-face teaching is their only option.

Australia also had not done as well as Canada and the UK in supporting students stuck in the country during the ban on international travel.

But on post-study work rights, which are important for international students who want work in their host country to pay off education, Australia was “not doing too badly”, Mr Barkla said.

A single reform to post-study work rights would make a difference: allowing overseas students who are studying online to include the online study they do in their home country towards a work-visa entitlement, instead of being able to include only those hours physically studying in Australia.

He doubted there would be a long-term setback from Australia’s political dissonance with China.

“The Chinese family who is looking to send their child overseas – they are pretty savvy. And they’re pretty connected beyond what they read in the Chinese press,” Mr Barkla said.

Interest to study in Australia increasing

“I’ve been in webinars and on roadshows in China and, looking forward, the interest in Australia and the UK as a study destination is increasing. If anything, it’s the geopolitical tension between China and that US gets more attention.

“So the number of parents who would normally be looking to the US are now shifting their interest to the UK or Australia.”

In a recent interview with the Financial Review the vice-chancellor of the University of NSW, Ian Jacobs, said he was optimistic on the outlook for universities because demand for education was moving to a higher level.

“In the 19th century, primary education was extended to most people. In the 20th century, it was secondary education. In the 21st century, tertiary education will be available to all,” he said.

“And Australia is placed to deliver that, face-to-face, online, short or long courses, undergraduate and postgraduate.”

His optimism is shared by Mr Barkla. After in initial pandemic-related fall, IDP’s English language testing volumes have returned to 55 per cent of what they were pre-COVID-19.

As restrictions ease the company has plans to open another 50 labs globally to add capacity.

IDP Education has a business model universities would envy, and could possibly learn from.

When COVID-19 hit Mr Barkla asked staff to accept a 20 per cent cut in salary (a higher percentage for senior executives), and in return he would guarantee no job losses. Within five days 100 per cent of staff had signed up.

At the height of the crisis it raised $250 million in the market to bolster its cash position, and so far it has burned through just $27 million.

 

Source: Australian Financial Review

August 6, 2020

Australia government student visa fee relief for student effected by COVID-19

The Australian Government has been making several changes to visa requirements in recent weeks.

One of the most notable is that applicants will be given

additional time to hand over their English language results and
complete biometric and health checks, allowing future students who’ve been impacted by COVID-19 the chance to finish their visa applications.

In addition to these measures, Immigration Minister Alan Tudge has announced that current international students who will be unable to complete the requirements of their student visa due to COVID-19 will be able to lodge another student visa application free of charge.

This will certainly be warmly welcomed by the thousands of international students who’ve been worrying about what the future will hold for their education in Australia.

What is the fee waiver?

The fee waiver means that any international student who is unable to complete the requirements of their student visa due to the pandemic, will be able to reapply without paying the usual application fees. This fee waiver came into effect at midnight on Wednesday 5 August 2020.

A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs has confirmed that the waiver will only be available to students who had a valid visa from 1 February 2020:

“A visa application fee waiver will be available to students

who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and
who were unable to complete their course within their original visa validity due to the impacts of COVID-19.”

This fee waiver will only apply to new applications and no refunds will be offered to those who applied before midnight 5 August 2020.

Even if you are eligible to receive the fee waiver, there are some extra steps that must be taken in order to receive the free application.

First, you’ll need to submit COVID-19 Impacted Students form from your education provider, in addition to your visa application.
This form will have to be signed by your education provider, showing how the pandemic has affected your visa requirements.

As well as fee waivers, the Australian Government has announced that the eligibility requirements for a post-study work visa have been relaxed. If you’ve been impacted by COVID-19 and are enrolled with an Australian education provider, you may be eligible for the following:

New or current student visa holders who have been forced to undertake online study outside Australia due to the pandemic will be able to count this toward the Australian Study Requirement.
Graduates who have been affected by the travel restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 will be able to receive a temporary graduate visa outside of Australia.

It’s clear from these announcements that the Australian Government wants to make sure that international students will be safe in the knowledge that they will be able to continue their education in Australia.

January 19, 2019
Skill Select Update

Good news for our clients; in the last skill select invitation round (being 11 October 2018) the number of invitations issued for the subclass 189 visa more than tripled. The total number of invitations went up from 2,490 to 4,340. That’s a significant 74% increase.

The point score cut-off remains 70, with the number of invitations sent out to those who claimed 70 points more than tripling from 605 to 1,903.

More good news for our clients in IT sector; the points required for “Software and Applications Programmers” and “Computer Network Professionals” dropped from 75 to 70 points.

The other capped occupation groups remain unchanged, with points required for Accountants and Auditors remaining at 80. This shows the high calibre of applicants in these occupations, many of whom have superior English skills and have completed a period of education in Australia.

Points required for Electronics, Mechanical, Industrial & Production engineers remains stable at 70. Points required for Environmental Engineers remains at 75 with Civil & Electrical Engineer occupations remaining uncapped.

Our clients on 70 points are receiving invitations, however, you can still expect to wait approximately 3 months. For our clients on fewer points, or who wish to obtain a faster invitation, state sponsorship still remains the best option.

There are currently many opportunities for potential immigrants in the general skilled migration program. Consulting and working with a qualified MARA migration agent will ensure that you receive the most up-to-date, professional and timely information, and that your application will be handled in accordance with best practice.

To enquire about a migration assessment, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact MARA licensed migration agent Feriha Güney (MARN 0960690) or Australian Lawyer (NSW) Ceren Güney on +90 546 946 38 11 / +61 2 9232 7055 / +61 477 524 039. Alternatively, please feel free to email us at sydney@inteducation.com

December 28, 2017

Population growth will help propel Australia to become the world’s 11th biggest economy within a decade, a report predicts.
The London-based Centre for Economics and Business Research is forecasting Australia will climb two places on its world economic league table by 2026 from its current ranking of 13.
Countries that depend on brainpower to drive their economies will generally overtake those dependent on natural resources, with China tipped to replace the US as the world’s biggest economy in 2030, the centre says.
While Australia’s economic growth has been fuelled by resources in recent years, the centre also noted that it’s become one of the most popular countries in the world for inward migration.

The London-based Centre for Economics and Business Research is forecasting Australia will climb two places on its world economic league table by 2026 from its current ranking of 13. And it’s particularly Australia’s intake of migrants with highly sought-after skills that will help fuel its future growth.
“Australia is one of the most popular countries in the world for inward migration as well as having natural resources.
“The growing population means that the economy is forecast to rise from 13th largest in 2017 to 11th largest economy in 2026.
“Investment in urban infrastructure will need to accelerate as population increases.”
Australia welcomed 245,400 immigrants in the year ending June 30, 2017, a 27 per cent increase from the year before.
 

“The growing population means the economy is forecast to rise from 13th largest in 2017 to 11th largest economy in 2026,” said the centre’s 2018 World Economic League Table, which ranks the world’s economies by gross domestic product measured in US dollars at market prices to 2030.
Image result for australia 11th biggest economy
 

December 14, 2017


Australia’s international education industry has strengthened across the board, pushing student numbers to new record levels according to the latest data. But doubts have started to emerge over how long the country can maintain its growth streak.
Records continued to fall for Australian international education, but clouds are starting to form, as the country’s reliance on China increases.
The number of international students within Australia currently sits at 9.4% above the 554,200 for the whole of 2016

Year to October data, released by the Department of Education and Training, shows more than 606,700 international students have entered Australia so far in 2017, a 13% increase from the level achieved by the same time in 2016, while enrolments and commencements also experienced double-digit percentage growth.

“The more Australia can do to discover or seek out new markets, the better for the international education sector as a whole”
The surge in numbers has also pushed up total revenue, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicating the 12 months to September period grew to a landmark $29.4bn, up from $28.4bn last quarter.
The figure for students, enrolments and commencements as of October has already surpassed that for the whole of 2016.
The number of international students within Australia currently sits 9.4% above the 2016 total of 554,200, while enrolments and commencements – the number of new enrolments in a calendar year – are 7.5% and 2% higher, respectively.
English Australia noted September 2017’s figures were 6.7% down from September 2016
While the figures are welcomed in Australia, not all sectors and source markets experienced consistent improvements, casting doubt over how long the boom will last.
Although 3.3% above the previous year’s October figures, ELICOS stands alone as the only sector to not yet surpass 2016 totals, and after a strong first half of 2017, experienced two consecutive declines in commencements in August and September.
It was the only major sector to do so.
In its latest market analysis report, English Australia noted September 2017’s figures were 6.7% down from September 2016, representing “arguably the first poor month at the national aggregate level for ELICOS in recent years.”
Meanwhile, China further strengthened its position as Australia’s top source market, increasing 18% from the same period in 2016 and pushing its market share across all sectors from 27.5% to approximately 30%; reaching as high as 60% for some sectors.
source:  thepienews.com

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June 29, 2017
In November 2016, reported about Victorian Government’s decision to temporary stop accepting applications for skilled visa for certain ICT occupations.
The Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa

Skilled visa applications for 11 occupations were temporarily closed by the Victorian Government for certain ICT occupations from 11 November 2016 till 6 March 2017 which was later revised and extended till 30 June 2017.
The state government has announced that from 1 July 2017, the Victorian Skilled and Business Migration Program will reopen applications for ICT occupations.

New application process for ICT occupations

Due to the high number of ICT applications that Victoria receives, the state government is changing the application process for ICT occupations. The aim of this is to reduce processing times and improve experience.
Those interested in applying for Victorian nomination (in ICT occupations), are advised to follow these steps:
1. Send your resume to sydney@inteducation.com
we will check you meet the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s (DIBP) Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) requirements and Victoria’s minimum nomination requirements.
Then we will submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)  in DIBP’s SkillSelect, and indicate your interest for Victorian nomination. You do not need to notify Victoria that you have submitted an EOI.
There is no set timeframe to expect an invitation after submitting an EOI. Invitations are not guaranteed. If selected, an email invitation to apply for Victorian visa nomination will be sent to your email address used for the EOI.
If you receive the invitation. we will submit an online application for Victorian visa nomination within 14 days of receiving the invitation. Note that you must be able to demonstrate that you still meet the claims that were in your EOI when you were invited. It is recommend that you have all your supporting documents ready before you submit your EOI in SkillSelect, as the 14 days cannot be extended.
If you are successfully nominated by the Victorian Government, you will receive a SkillSelect invitation to apply for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) .
Then we will submit a visa application to DIBP within 60 days of being nominated by Victoria.
Selection considerations
The Victorian Government will review and select the top ranking ICT candidates from SkillSelect, who have indicated Victoria as their preferred state.
Candidates who are selected to apply are still required to meet Victoria’s minimum eligibility requirements, including demonstrating employability and commitment to Victoria, and are not guaranteed nomination.
If you are not selected by the Victorian Government, you will not receive an email. Your EOI will continue to be considered for as long as it remains in DIBP’s SkillSelect system.
Current  Occupations eligible to apply for Victorian visa nomination

Victoria SOL

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For more details, visit Victorian Government’s website. [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

November 7, 2016

14702452_1138916749520787_8297787580473740138_nAustralia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has released the new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for 2016-17. The purpose of the country’s skilled migration programme is to attract “highly employable” people for migration, and it is the most common form of migration to Australia.

Australia is one of the biggest gainers through emigration, which is largely accomplished through its “skilled migration programme” which gives preference to skilled foreigners looking to make the country its new home.
The purpose of the country’s skilled migration programme is to attract “highly employable” people for migration, and it is the most common form of migration to Australia.
According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) new guidelines, these are some of the skills that will give you preference for emigration to Australia.
There are over 185 jobs listed – below is a general overview of the types of skills.

  • Chefs (excluding fast food or takeaway food services)
  • Plumbers
  • Gasfitters
  • Panel beaters
  • Carpenters
  • Fitters and turners
  • Welders
  • Engineers (Chemical, Electrical, Aeronautical, Agricultural and many others)
  • Telecoms (Network planners, Radio technicians, Engineers)
  • Systems Analysts
  • Programmers/Developers
  • Computer Network and Systems Engineers
  • Psychologists
  • Doctors, Surgeons and medical specialists
  • Registered Nurses and Midwives
  • Veterinarians
  • Actuaries, Auditors, Accountants

The Skilled Occupations List (SKO) is used for Skilled Independent Visa, Skilled Regional Provisional Visa and Graduate Temporary Visa applications.
In the same report, the DIBP has also released the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSO) which is used for Skilled Nominated Visa, Temporary Work Skilled Visa and Employer Nominated Scheme visa applications.
The CSO lists skills that companies in Australia are looking for, and employers or the state will sponsor for emigration into the country.
The full list for both classes can be found here: Australia SKO and CSOLists

August 10, 2016

Fifty two occupations may be removed from Australia’s Skilled Occupation List that identifies occupations for immigration to the country. The SOL is a compilation of occupations for skilled migration for the purpose of meeting the medium to long-term skill needs of the Australian economy.
The 52 occupations that have been flagged on the Skilled Occupation List 2016-17 include health professionals, including specialists, engineers, taxation accountants, barristers, solicitors etc.
The federal health department is pushing to scrap 41 jobs from SOL – including GPs, surgeons and anaesthetists, The Australian has reported.
“Immigration is often used as a short-term demand management strategy and it continues to be poorly co-ordinated,” a Health Department submission into the review of the Skilled Operations List reads.
“Over a longer planning ­horizon, better management of migration pathways for international health professionals must occur in combination with all commonwealth departments”
The move would be counterbalanced by increasing numbers of local medical graduates who could fill vacancies, especially in regional areas.
The Department of Education and Training provides advice to the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection on the composition of the SOL.
The department undertakes the review of the SOL each year following which there are a number of occupations which are ‘flagged’ for possible removal in the future. Generally, occupations are flagged when there is emerging evidence of excess supply in the labour market.
The list of occupations flagged by the Department of Education and Training
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November 27, 2015

int-student-sydneyStudents are able to work while studying and can earn a bachelor’s degree in three years.
Australia sits at a cultural crossroads, with historical links to the West and economic ties to the East. This may, in part, explain the country’s appeal to international students.
“You’re getting the best of both worlds,” says Vik Naidoo, head of international student recruitment at the University of Sydney.
There were more than 269,700 international higher education students in Australia in 2014, according to the Institute of International Education’s Project Atlas. That means roughly one out of every five students at the country’s universities was international.
While Australian universities have similarities to those in other English-speaking nations, such as the U.K., there are differences too. Here are three facts prospective students should know about the international undergraduate experience in Australia.

  1. HIGH GOVERNMENTAL REGULATIONS on INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION SECTOR

There are laws on the books to protect international students. Australian legislation requires universities to provide international students with orientation programs, access to support services and contact information for university officials who can assist them, among other things.
“We don’t just recruit them and say, ‘Now off you go, you’re by yourself,'” says Naidoo. “We, by legislative arrangement, we have a duty of care to those students.”
Nina Khairina, a third-year international student at Monash University in Victoria who hails from Indonesia, said by email that she has faced challenges such as loneliness and having to adjust to a new style of teaching.
Khairina, who is national president of the Council of International Students Australia, an advocacy organization for foreign students, said the most helpful source of support has been the Monash University International Students Service, run by student volunteers “who work passionately to improve the experience of other international students.” She added that a student rights officer and counselors are available on campus as well.
Universities are also legally required to post on their websites lists of education agents appointed to represent the institutions abroad. Applicants who do not use agents can submit their materials directly to Australian universities online; there isn’t a common application system for international students.

  1. SOME DEGREE PROGRAMS CAN BE COMPLETED IN THREE YEARS

Students can earn a degree in three years, but might want to study longer. Most bachelor’s programs in Australia are three years long. However, high-achieving students at Aussie universities can go on to earn a bachelor honors degree – a more advanced credential – by studying for an additional year.
Honors programs are selective. At the University of Sydney, for example, less than 5 percent of all undergraduates are enrolled in the honors program, according to Naidoo. The higher-level program “is teaching you a lot of research skills,” says Naidoo, “which you don’t necessarily get in the traditional undergraduate degree.”
Earning an honors degree is the typical pathway to a doctoral degree program, according to the Australian government’s Department of Education and Training.
Keit Loi, a native of Malaysia who recently earned an honors Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne, says the “intense” honors year is a good trial run for students who think they might want to conduct research at a higher academic level.
“If you still survive it and you still enjoy research after that,” he says, “you know you’re capable of doing a Ph.D.” Loi has applied to a Ph.D. program at the University of Melbourne.
Some universities also offer four-year – or longer – programs with a built-in research component as another path to a bachelor honors degree.

  1. WORK WHILE STUDYING

International students may work while studying. Undergraduate tuition at Australian institutions can vary from $10,800 to $23,800 or more per year, according to the Australian government. Students can work part time to help pay for school.
Most student visa holders can work up to 40 hours every two weeks while taking classes, according to the government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection. International students can apply for jobs on and off campus, and during academic breaks there isn’t a limit on the number of hours they can work.
But finding employment can be challenging in some locations according to U.S. national Carolyn Reimann, a third-year undergraduate medical student at James Cook University in Queensland.  She added that it might be easier for students to find jobs in cities like Sydney and Melbourne that are popular tourist destinations.
If international students want to work in Australia after graduation, they can apply for a temporary graduate visa. This credential allows non-citizens to work in the country for a period of 18 months to up to four years, depending on their set of skills and degree level.
But studying in Australia isn’t just about hard work and classes, some students say.
“There is a strong emphasis on having a study-work-life balance here,” Khairina said by email. “I was not used to that at the beginning and focused too much on getting perfect grades; it’s not like that anymore and I enjoy it.”
source: www.usnews.com

May 14, 2015

passportAccording to  Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, Australia is set to further streamline and the visa system simplified under measures contained in the Budget.
Reduced red tape and several initiatives will benefit Australian consumers, international travellers, the travel industry, exporters, importers and visa applicants.
The Seamless Traveller initiative will see the roll out of new technology, including SmartGates, at air and sea ports, the Trusted Trader Programme (TTP) will expedite cargo clearances and the Budget will enable significant changes to Australia’s skilled and temporary migration legislation.
Seamless Traveller will see $93.7 million spent over the next five years for rollout of next generation automated biometric processing at major air and sea ports.
Biometric capability will reduce manual processes allowing a fast, seamless self-processing experience for up to 90 per cent of travellers and enable border control officers to concentrate on passengers-of-interest.
“Through the use of cutting-edge technology, such as SmartGates, we are providing benefits to travellers and industry while meeting national security challenges head on,” Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton said.
A total of $5.6 million has been allocated to start a pilot phase of a Trusted Trader Programme.
The pilot will start with four industry partners focusing on seaborne container exports and rapidly expand over the year to imports and air cargo involving around 40 Australian exporters and importers and their supply chains.
Faster clearance of low risk cargo for traders with a history of high trade compliance and commitment to supply chain security will again enable border officers to focus on high risk consignments.
“Increased efficiency in cargo movement will make Australia more competitive in the global marketplace and benefit the economy, Mr Dutton said.
Changes to Australia’s skilled and temporary migration legislation will see 25 visa subclasses consolidated into a simplified framework providing an easier process for visa applicants.
Mr Dutton said these changes were smart policy that would improve system integrity and border security and deliver a more efficient service.
“The measures in the 2015 Budget are yet another example of the Government’s commitment to cutting red tape and streamlining services,” Mr Dutton said.

April 22, 2015

Restaurant & Catering AustraliaRestaurant & Catering Australia has welcomed new training and product development arrangements for the vocational education sector announced by the Australian government this morning.
R&CA CEO, John Hart says that the announcement serves as a welcome step in addressing the needs of the tourism and hospitality sectors.
“The [hospitality] sector is currently experiencing a shortfall of 35,800 jobs, with this number expected to increase to 56,000 by the end of 2015. Additionally, employment in the cafe, restaurant and takeaway food services sector is projected to grow more than 43,700 jobs or 8.5 percent to November 2018,” says Hart.
Hart says that this rate of employment growth is expected to be higher than any other industry in the Australian economy and it is estimated that Australia will require an additional 2.5 million people with Vocational Education Training (VET) qualifications; 1.7 million of which will need to be qualified at Certificate III level or above.
“The new model supporting industry reference committees will more closely align the skill needs of industry with the training that is delivered through the vocational education sector,” says Hart
“Changes to this structure and authorising environment through the Australian Industry Skills Committee will help to provide the necessary skilled staff required to deliver quality customer experiences well into the future.”
Hart says today’s announcement is recognition that skilled staff in the tourism and hospitality industry is necessary for the economic growth of the country.
“Waiters, cooks, chefs and café and restaurant managers are the most in-demand occupations in the sector and will continue to be well beyond 2015.
“’Australia’s system of competency standards and qualifications-based learning is world renowned; this change to the development process will strengthen that reputation even further.
 
Source: Hospitability Magazine

April 21, 2015
download (1)Eighty eight per cent of international students are satisfied or very satisfied with their overall experience, outperforming similar competitor nations.

A new report on international students’ experiences has found widespread satisfaction across all survey areas — learning, support on arrival, living and support services — at a rate higher than similar competitor nations.
The lone exception is living and accommodation costs which registered only a 50 per cent satisfaction rating.

The biannual International Student Survey was released by federal education minister Christopher Pyne on the back of a NSW report which suggested widespread cheating, low academic standards and even corruption. A report on the ABC tonight is widely expected to come to similar conclusions.

“The report confirms that the reputation of Australian institutions and the quality of teaching are by far the most important factors for international students choosing Australia over other countries,” Mr Pyne said in a statement.
Chris Ziguras, a higher education researcher from RMIT, said the survey threw a positive light on a sector currently under siege by media.
“This report is reassuring to the government and to the sector as a whole that students are coming here for all the right reasons and generally satisfied. Australia is on par with and outperforming other destinations,” Dr Ziguras said.
While the broad brushstroke nature of the overview support lacked nuance, the over all picture was undeniably positive, Dr Ziguras said.
“You’re asking people to tick boxes and you are not getting deep insights. If it was a one-off survey then you’d say it was pretty bland but the fact it’s been done three times in succession shows (the aggregate results) are reassuring.”
Dr Ziguras said he was “dismayed” by last week’s Independent Commission Against Corruption report.
“I’m not sure who they spoke to but they apparently didn’t speak to students,” he said.
“It’s dismaying not because of what it says about the sector but because of the way the sector is perceived. That’s very depressing,” he said.
Dr Ziguras also said he was concerned about the potential for corruption based on the fact international students generate revenue.
“All students generate revenue. The same potential exists for such things with the admittance of domestic students in undergraduate programs with universities dipping lower and lower into ATARs because evert new student brings revenue. There’s the same potential there.”
Fiona Docherty, pro vice-chancellor (international) at UNSW said feedback from international students at her institution didn’t line up with the view promulgated in the ICAC report, especially in relation to the use of agents.
“I’m interested in feedback after students get here and can reflect objectively on their choices to come to that university. Our experience shows that 90 per cent of students are satisfied with their agents,” Ms Docherty said.
Scott Sheppard, deputy vice-chancellor (international) at Queensland University of Technology, also said he struggled to correlate the ICAC report’s findings with the experience of international students at his institution.
“Maybe it’s because we have a relatively low percentage of international student enrolments, but the findings didn’t alight with our experience,” Professor Sheppard said.
 
Source: The Australian

February 3, 2014

Australian_PR_COB_2006Gallup’s Potential Net Migration Index reported that Australia and New Zealand remain the ideal migration destination for people around the world among countries in the region. The population for the two countries can increase vastly if these people will be given freedom to live in a country where they wanted, the poll revealed.
The intention of people to migrate permanently to other countries had decrease to 13 per cent, but the score for moving to Australia and New Zealand remained “positive and high.”
The survey was conducted through interviewing 520,000 participants in 154 countries – taking away the number of people interested to leave a country from the number of those interested to move in the same country.
In the list of Potential Net Migration to Asia for 2010-12, Australia lands at no. 1 with 1.36 per cent, followed by New Zealand with 1.34 per cent.
Professor Paul Spoonley explained that the decline in the percentage of New Zealand as compared to Australia for 2010-2012 was due to New Zealand’s “cooling of the job market”.
“The global financial crisis has seen a softening of people applying to come to New Zealand in real terms, and the slowdown in the job market over the period also affected the desire of people on wanting to move here,” Mr Spoonley told NZ Herald.
As compared to Australia, “The big change in the last couple of years was the strength in the Australian labour market and the weakening of the job market in New Zealand, which could explain why Australia became a more popular choice,” he added.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were listed as top two most desired destinations for would-be migrants among the countries in the Middle East and North Africa. People were seeing both countries as high-income countries which offer economic opportunities and employment.
Canada tops the list of the Potential Net Migration among the countries in the Americas.
As a whole, the report shed light on the aftermath of global economic downturn in relation to people’s desire to move out from their country and moved to another. Essentially, the study showed that people were still looking forward for economic conditions to eventually improve in these countries.
The PNMI is measured on a scale of -100 (meaning the total adult population of the country would leave) to infinity (meaning the potential inflow of adult population to the country is unlimited and depends on the number of adults who want to move in from around the world). As with any survey-based estimate, the PNMI has a corresponding margin of error for each country, calculated using the standard error of the index. Sample size, size of the country, and range in population projection weights affect the PNMI margin of error.
Gallup’s PNMI is based on responses to the following questions:

$1·         Ideally, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move permanently to another country, or would you prefer to continue living in this country?

$1·         (If “would like to move permanently to another country”) To which country would you like to move? [open-ended, one response allowed]

Source:  International Business Times  /  By Athena Yenko | February 3, 2014

March 8, 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

November 9, 2012

 

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

  • Monash,
  • Melbourne,
  • Queensland,
  • 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,
  • Brunei,
  • 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

This article was first published by The Conversation. A reminder to www.mystudyinaustralia.com readers that TC articles are freely available for republishing under a creative commons licence.

November 7, 2012
November 7, 2012

 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.

Read More

September 26, 2012

IEAA glad to announce that IEAA and UPC will provide sponsorship for 18 months paid traineeship and they might be eligible as a Childcare Centre Manager. With this program trains childcare diploma graduates to be qualified as Childcare Centre Managers.
On completion of the Diploma, finding employment is essential so that you can enrol into the occupational training program (OTP). For the next 18 months, you will work full-time earning an annual income between $AU35,000 to $AU42,000.
 
On completion of the OTP, you are qualified as a childcare centre manager and eligible for temporary or permanent work in Australia. The critical point of the occupational training program is employment and to gain employment, you should

  • have good results in the Certificate III and Diploma courses,
  • have a good track record on work placement and extra paid jobs during your study,
  • achieve good English proficiency (No set English level is required),as well as attain good communication skills,
  • have a positive attitude to work and gaining experience on the job.

There is a high demand for childcare professionals in Australia, a trend which is set to continue for many years ahead, but nobody can guarantee you a job. It is your future and your responsibility.
On completion of your Diploma of Children’s Services, the Australian Government allows you to advance in your childcare profession by working and training in the early childhood sector using the Occupational Trainee Visa (OTV).
Three conditions for the Occupational Trainee Visa:

  • a full-time job offer
  • a customised training program and
  • an approved sponsor to monitor the training program.

Read More

September 5, 2012

Australian universities ranked amongst the best in the world

 

Five Australian universities have been ranked amongst the world’s top 100 according to the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU),  released this month.

 

In 2012,

  • The University of Melbourne (57),
  • The Australian National University (64),
  • The University of Queensland (90),
  • The University of Sydney (93) and
  • The University of Western Australia (96)

were listed amongst the world’s best.

 

This year’s rankings indicate the relative strength of the Australia’s university system and reflect the sector’s significant investment in continuous improvement; in 2012, Australia was just one of two countries to increase the number of universities represented in the top 100.

 

Welcoming the news, Chief Executive of Universities Australia, Belinda Robinson, said the country’s improved standings in the 2012 ARWU is apt recognition of the high-quality of Australian research and teaching programs.

 

“This is an outstanding result for Australia and demonstrates the nation’s commitment to having a world class university system providing teaching and research at the highest levels,” said Ms Robinson

 

“Universities’ central role in creating opportunities for all Australians to study in a world class higher education system should be acknowledged and celebrated,” Ms Robinson said.

 

Source: Austrade, 5 September 2012

August 31, 2012

 

While most international students in Australia are full-fee paying students, another option is to apply for a scholarship.

Scholarships are offered by education institutions and a number of other organisations and the Australian Government.  They cover various educational sectors, including

  • vocational education and training,
  • student exchanges,
  • undergraduate and
  • postgraduate study and research.

Usually Australian Government scholarships are not available for English language training specifically in Australia. However, there are several English language training scholarships offered by Australian institutions.

For information on scholarships use Australian Government  Scholarships Database. It provides an accurate and reliable list of all scholarships supplied by Australian-based organisations, institutions and government bodies to international students studying or planning to study in Australia on a student visa.

The Australia Awards aim to promote knowledge, education links and enduring ties between Australia and our neighbours through Australia’s extensive scholarship programs.

The Australia Awards brings the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) scholarships together under the Australia Awards program.

Further information can be found at www.AustraliaAwards.gov.au

There are three programs available under the Australia Awards. They are:

  • Endeavour Awards is the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program providing opportunities for citizens of the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Europe and the America’s to undertake study, research or professional development in Australia. Further information can be found at: www.deewr.gov.au/EndeavourAwards

 

  • Australian Leadership Awards (ALA) focus on developing leaders who can influence social and economic policy reform and development outcomes in both their own countries and in the Asia-Pacific region. ALAs provide scholarship support for postgraduate studies in Australia and short-term fellowship opportunities in specialised research, study or professional attachments through participating Australian organisations. Further information can be found at: www.ausaid.gov.au/scholar

 

  • Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) aim to contribute to the long-term development needs of Australia’s partner countries to promote good governance, economic growth and human development. ADS provides people with the necessary skills and knowledge to drive change and influence the development outcomes of their own country, through obtaining tertiary qualifications at participating Australian institutions. Further information can be found at: www.ausaid.gov.au/scholar
June 1, 2012

The Australian education system has earned a reputation of being one of the most sought after curricula in the world. In June last year, more than 15,000 Malaysian international students were living in Australia.

In 2010, 73 countries took part in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) testing, an internationally standardised assessment for 15-year-olds, conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Australia was placed in the top 10, out-performing most of the large English speaking countries. Seven of Australia’s universities are ranked in the top 100 worldwide.

Considering the above and the popularity of the Australian education in Malaysia, it is undoubted that the Australian International School Malaysia (AISM) has earned an outstanding reputation through its rich and rigorous educational programmes, stimulating learning environments, international and multicultural perspectives and highly qualified and experienced Australian-trained staff.

AISM is a vibrant and growing Kindergarten to Year 12 international school for children from age 3 (Preparation) to age 18 (Year 12). Established in 2000, AISM is the only international school in Malaysia offering an Australian curriculum, delivered by Australian teachers and following the Australian school year.

AISM houses all three of its schools, Junior, Middle and Senior, on one campus and has about 560 students represented by more than 30 nationalities. The school offers a rigorous academic programme leading to the Higher School Certificate (HSC).

Whilst great emphasis is placed on academic excellence, the physical, emotional and social dimensions of growth are seen as crucial elements of the school’s teaching and reflect the Australian education philosophy of developing the whole child.

“AISM is certainly a pathway to international excellence. Our students have successfully entered institutions in Australia, the UK, the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand, Malaysia, as well as many European countries,” says David Kilpatrick, the school’s principal. “In fact, one of our Year 12 students has received a full scholarship to study in the UK and will be applying to the University of Oxford.”

AISM recently hosted the inaugural meeting of the Principals of Australian International Schools from all over the world. The meeting was attended by principals from other eight countries — United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Bangladesh — who have become the Founding Members of the Australian International Schools Association (AISA). The forming of this association brings together more than 10,000 students who are studying the Australian curriculum throughout the world.

With the formation of AISA, the principals have formalised different means of collaboration between the Australian International Schools that will provide more diverse opportunities for their students to be involved in competition and collaborative events between the schools, explains Kilpatrick.

With the aim of providing the best of Australian education for all in Malaysia, AISM has also invested heavily in creating a truly 21st century, student-centred learning environment. Its recent major development and expansion project will accommodate classrooms and open learning spaces for the school’s Junior students (aged three to 10 years), extensive performing arts facilities (including a Black Box Theatre, instrument practice, orchestral and dance rooms), excellent ICT facilities, a science and technology centre, a new learning resource centre (library) and a dedicated space for Senior students in their final years of study (Year 11 and 12).

Source: New Straits Times (www.nst.com.my )

April 11, 2012

The changes to the permanent employer sponsored visas (ENS and RSMS) coming in on 1 July 2012 are quite significant. One of the main intentions behind the changes to the ENS/RSMS programs is to streamline the process of applying for permanent residence whilst holding a 457 visa.

People will be affected differently by the new changes depending on their circumstances. This article goes through the main winners under the new system.

ENS/RSMS Eligibility Streams

The requirements for ENS and RSMS vary depending on which “eligibility stream” you apply under from 1 July. To appreciate the impact of the changes, it’s important to have an understanding of the eligibility streams:

Temporary Residence Transition:

where applicants have worked with the employer on a 457 visa for the last 2 years. Applicants in this category have a streamlined pathway onto permanent residence through ENS and RSMS from 1 July.

Direct Entry Stream:

for applicants who have not worked in Australia, or who have worked in Australia on a visa other than a 457 visa. Criteria for these applicants are higher – for ENS they must have a skills assessment and 3 years of work experience in their occupation, and RSMS applicants must get approval from a Regional Certifying Body and may also require skills assessment.

Agreement Stream:

for applicants whose employer has a Labour Agreement. Labour agreements are special arrangements individually negotiated with the Department of Immigration, and allow sponsorship in a wider range of occupations and are required for the “on-hire” or “labour hire” industry.

1. People on 457 visas in non-ENS occupations

There are many people on 457 visas who have been sponsored in an occupation which is not on the current ENS Occupations List.

Examples of such occupations include:

  • Cafe or Restaurant Manager
  • Customer Service Managers
  • Various IT specialisations
  • Intermediate service managers (eg
  • Divers and Diving Instructors
  • Farmers

People sponsored for 457 visas in these occupations are currently on a “road to nowhere” – they can stay in Australia on 457 visas, but have limited options in applying for permanent residence.

From 1 July 2012, there will be a single consolidated list of occupations which applies to 457, ENS and State/Territory Sponsored Skilled Visas.

As a result, people already on a 457 visa will be able to look at an ENS visa once they have worked with their employer on a 457 visa in their occupation for 2 years, even if their occupation is not on the current ENS list.

2. Applicants between 45 and 50 years of Age

The age limit for ENS and RSMS visas will increase from 45 to 50 from 1 July 2012.

As a result, applicants between 45 and 50 will be able to qualify for an ENS or RSMS visa without needing to show Exceptional Circumstances.

3. Applicants over 60 years on 457 visas

Under current arrangements, it is extremely difficult for applicants aged over 60 to obtain an ENS or RSMS visa. Under current DIAC policy, applicants must show that they will make a significant economic contribution to Australia and have a very high salary level ($213,000 or more).

From 1 July 2012, applicants who have worked for their employer for the last 4 years on a 457 visa and who have a salary of over $118,000 should be eligible for an exemption to the age requirement.

This will make it far more possible for applicants over 60 to qualify for migration under the Employer Nomination Scheme.

 

April 9, 2012

Australia is the land of work, skill and education for the international students. Many foreign students prefer to live and study abroad in Australia. Australia offers a high quality practical educational environment for international or foreign students to obtain skills and qualifications in any of the related areas in the field of engineering and technology.

International students can enrol in Information Technology, Civil, Software /Hardware, Manufacturing, Multimedia, Automobile, Mechanical, Aeronautical/ Aerospace, Applied Physics, Architectural, Chemical and Environmental Engineering courses. Many technical and engineering colleges in Australia offer technical and further Education (TAFE) programs, university degrees and postgraduate degree courses to students in different engineering disciplines.

Australia educational consultants provide useful information to foreign and international students and also guide them to choose right kind of engineering course from best college and university.Australia educational consultants also guide international students to get admission in the college located at a city university in one of the state capitals or choose a best university located in one of the main regional centres throughout Australia.

Australia provides multicultural and excellent study environment for students to study and so that they feel comfortable to mix in a diverse and tolerant environment. Australian education counselling provides the information of many engineering colleges in Australia. It also offers the international student a wide range of choices of place to study, strength and size of engineering college and educational approach of the engineering institute.

Apart from Study, the technical and engineering colleges in Australia also allows international students to participate in most important research and development activities. Australian education counselling has also running various educational programs in which the students can interact more closely with industry people so that they know how to deal with real-world engineering?

Engineers educated from Australian universities can be found working all over in today’s worldwide community. For example South and East Asia where large numbers of engineers and technical people who have studied from various Australian Universities, Colleges and Institutes will be found at very senior positions in different software, mechanical and chemical industries, or in government sectors, with few of them have their own well established businesses.

If we compared globally, Australia has more engineering graduates and post graduate people per million than the UK, France Germany, USA, Sweden and India. Many universities offer postgraduate degree courses to study abroad in Australia in areas of engineering.

Summary: Australia offers a high quality practical educational environment for international or foreign students to obtain skills and qualifications in any of the related areas in the field of engineering and technology like Information Technology, Civil, Software /Hardware, Manufacturing, Multimedia, Automobile, Mechanical engineering fields to get better career and high senior positions.

 

Source: goodarticles.in April 5th, 2012

March 23, 2012

 

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today announced key changes to the student visa program recommended by the Knight Review will commence from 24 March, as part of the government’s commitment to position Australia as a preferred study destination for international students.

‘International education plays a vital role in a growing economy, educational outcomes and Australia’s diplomatic engagement with other countries, so it’s important that we give it the best possible support,’ Mr Bowen said.

‘From 24 March, we are implementing streamlined visa processing arrangements for prospective students enrolled in Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degrees at participating universities, making the application process simpler and faster.’

In recognition of these institutions’ track record, university students — regardless of their country of origin — will be treated as though they are lower risk and will need to submit less evidence in support of their visa application, similar to the current assessment level (AL) 1.

‘Universities in Australia have embraced the opportunity to sign up to the arrangements, which are expected to help boost international enrolments for semester two 2012 and beyond,’ Mr Bowen said.

From 26 March, the government will provide more flexible work conditions for all student visa holders, which will also provide more flexibility for their employers.

In recognition of the importance of the higher degree by research sector, the government will also allow postgraduate research (subclass 574) visa holders to work an unlimited amount of hours per week once their course has commenced, which will mean they can engage in employment related to their research.

Other Knight Review changes to be implemented from 24 March include:

Improved access to English language study for schools sector visa applicants and for student guardian visa holders

Removal of the requirement for higher risk schools sector visa applicants to provide evidence of an English language proficiency test.

In line with the Knight Review recommendations, the minister today introduced legislation to Parliament to abolish the automatic visa cancellation process for international students.

The Student Legislation Amendment (Student Visas) Bill will reduce complexity and uncertainty for students and provide for fairer, more efficient monitoring and compliance processes.

 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

March 12, 2012

 

A renewed pride in the Australian flag seems to have bloomed as a new wave of patriotism sweeps the nation. Picture: Bob Barker

MIGRANT numbers have hit a two-year high, confirming that we are hurtling towards a “Big Australia”.

And more than 160 protection visas are being issued to asylum seekers each week as the Federal Government deals with rising numbers of arrivals by boat and air.

About 146,000 permanent settlers came to Australia in the past year, the most since 2010.

There were 14,210 arrivals in January alone – a 41-month high.

But the growth in population is much higher when the number of foreigners given permanent residency visas is taken into account.

Net overseas migration is about 184,000 a year and is expected to reach 204,000 by mid-2015, according to the latest Immigration Department forecasts.

The so-called Big Australia target of 36 million by 2050, disowned by PM Julia Gillard before the last election, is on track with annual net migration of 180,000 and above.

Monash University population expert Dr Bob Birrell said permanent immigration was at a very high level and temporary migration was increasing at an even higher rate.

“This is a sign of what’s in store for us given the Government’s policy settings,” he said.

Separate Immigration Department figures show 4260 asylum seekers were given protection visas in the second half of last year. This compares with 4818 visas for the whole of 2010-11.

About half of the successful visa applicants were from Afghanistan and Iran, while significant numbers also came from Iraq and Sri Lanka, according to the department’s latest Asylum Statistics Australia report.

Of those given visas in the second half of last year, 2845 were boat arrivals and 1412 sought asylum after arriving by air.

Adult boat arrivals are initially detained, but the Government’s policy is to release people while their refugee claims are assessed.

It has been reported the Government will start releasing 400 asylum seekers a month into the community after initially promising to release 100 a month.

The Opposition has branded Labor’s asylum seeker policy as “let them in and let them out”, but the Government says if the Coalition were truly concerned about boat arrivals it would pass the Malaysia solution legislation.

Source: Herald Sun March 07, 2012 by: John Masanauskas

March 12, 2012

 

The government will replace the six employer sponsored permanent visa programs with two simplified categories.

The Australian Government has announced plans to make it easier for skilled migrants to become permanent Australian residents.

The Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the changes will simplify the process for people who hold 457 visas which give temporary work rights, to apply for the permanent employer-sponsored visa program.

From July this year, overseas workers in the 457 category won’t have to have a second skills test and English test to become eligible for residency.

But the changes will tighten the application process for people who apply for permanent visas without having worked in Australia already.

Mr Bowen says applicants seeking direct entry to Australia will first be expected to sit a basic English test .

“Particularly remembering these people are often living in regional Australia, where perhaps the level of access to English training might not be as extensive as it would be in capital cities, and they will be working in occupations that will require a good level of English in any event,” he said.

Mr Bowen says the government will also replace the six employer sponsored permanent visa programs with two simplified categories.

He says the changes will help deal with critical skills shortages in some industries.

The chief executive of the Australian Federation of Employers and Industries, Gary Brack, told Radio Australia the streamlined process could help alleviate labor supply shortages in some sectors.

“One of the most important aspects of this is the speed with which you can actually make the transition,” he said.

“Employers get caught short in the market if they can’t recruit somebody. A lot of them are desperate to get people at a particular time. So if it can be expedited in the way that it’s been discussed, then that will certainly be advantageous.”

Ged Kearney, the president of Australia’s peak union body, the ACTU, says while the changes would have distinct advantages for overseas workers, it must not undermine the ability for local workers to obtain those jobs.

She told Radio Australia there is a possibility that migrant workers could be exploited by their employers under the planned changes.

“We would not like to see a situation where the overseas worker’s still bonded to an employer simply because they have been encouraged to hang on – maybe in sub-standard terms and conditions or sub-standard wages et cetera, with the promise that if you work for less money, or work for less conditions, we can now get you permanent residency,” she said.

The Opposition says the government should go further with its attempts to cut red tape for skilled migration.

The Coalition’s immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says the government should also reintroduce the immigration concessions that were scrapped in 2009.

“The government abolished the regional concessions for 457s when they came to government ,which was a major and important program for particularly small and regional business,” he said.

“The government has not restored those concessions.”

 

The new system will operate from July 1.

 

Source: Reuters – Anna Henderson and Girish Sawlani, Canberra Fri, 9 Mar 2012