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

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

May 14, 2015

Endeavour-Executive-FellowshipThe Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training is inviting  applications for the Endeavour Postgraduate Awards. The awards provide full financial support to international students to pursue

  • a postgraduate qualification at a master’s (up to two years) or
  • PhD level (up to four years) either by coursework or research in any field of study in Australia.

The scholarships include travel allowance AUD 3,000, establishment allowance of AUD 4,000 , monthly spending (AUD 3,000) up to maximum programme duration on a pro-rata basis. Health and travel insurance will also be ­provided.
Endeavour Scholarship recipients will also receive tuition fees (includes student service and amenities fees) paid up to the maximum study/research duration on a pro-rata basis. To be eligible, applicants must commence their proposed programme after January 1, 2016, and not later than November 30, 2016.
Applicants need to provide either

  • letter of admission for a PhD course at an Australian university for the 2016 academic year or
  • letter of admission/ for a master’s or graduate diploma leading to a master’s course at an Australian university for the 2016 academic year.

Since 2007, a total of 3,818 Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships have been awarded to internationals and 1,036 have been received by Australians to undertake research, study or professional development across 125 eligible countries.
What Endeavour offers
As a scholarship or fellowship recipient, you will gain invaluable international experience in study, research or professional development.
The department has engaged a contractor to provide post-selection support services to all recipients including: a dedicated case manager, pre-departure briefings, advice on health, travel insurance, accommodation, security; payment of allowances, and reporting to the department on the recipient’s progress.
Learn more about what Endeavour can offer through:

For more details, visit here . Deadline for submitting applications is June 30 2015.

May 3, 2015

Australian International Students
International Students’ numbers are increasing for Australia

Yet another review has landed on desks around Canberra. A newly released 160-page Productivity Commission paper on International Education Services has underlined what many of us who work in this dynamic sector already know.
Not only is international education kicking goals for our beleaguered economy but it continues to enhance Australia’s global credentials. Notwithstanding this, the report also warns this $17 billion a year industry that more regulatory reform might be required if Australia is to remain the study destination of choice.
Up front, the Productivity Commission’s report is very much a good news story. It finds that our nation’s third-largest export creates 130,000 equivalent full-time jobs. These jobs are not just in teaching but cut across the entire economy, including the provision of accommodation, food, entertainment and even tourism.
There are more than 450,000 full-tuition, fee-paying international students in Australia now, accounting for 20 per cent of all students enrolled in our higher education institutions and 5 per cent in vocational education and training (VET). Importantly for our future relations in our region, about three-quarters of all international students come from Asia, with China and India the biggest markets.
Of equal importance, the report noted that we have another 160,000 enrolments in Australian courses delivered offshore, with an increasing number of these in the advanced skills (VET) sector. Overall, our international education industry has recovered from recent years of declining enrolments and the commission concludes that it “is back on a high-growth trajectory”.
So where is the flip side to all this good news? The Productivity Commission points to four key areas of concern. These relate to governance, student visa integrity, comparative quality course ratings and the complex issue of education agent quality assurance.
International education has come a long way, in a short space of time, since each state and territory government had separate regulatory authorities. Until the federal government intervened, each state had jurisdictional oversight of student and education provider policy and procedures. These were replaced in 2011 by the Tertiary Education and Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) for higher education and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) for vocational education. Despite initial teething problems, these two national regulators have made significant improvements in the good governance of a complex industry.
SURPRISING
It is therefore surprising that the Productivity Commission raises the possibility that these two regulators be merged into one entity. Some education institutions, which deliver both higher education and VET courses, would welcome any ensuing reduction in their regulatory reporting burden. However, because each of these national regulators primarily service very different types of education providers and courses, there is little momentum among international education stakeholders for such a merger to be effected.
Control of who is deemed to be a genuine temporary student and student visas has long been vested in our Immigration Department. In recent years this has been justified because of border control concerns.
Yet the Productivity Commission boldly suggests that other factors and government departments should have a stake in the outcomes here. Whereas the Immigration Department’s almost entire focus is on the immigration risk of an education provider, the commission questions the merits of this. Instead, they would like to see factors such as the quality of the education provider’s course delivery, their financial or consumer risk and even student graduation outcomes factored into the visa-issuing process.
Industry groups, such as the International Education Association of Australia, have long argued for just such a comprehensive student visa issuance model. Currently, it is all too easy for certain education providers to tailor their immigration risk rating just long enough to qualify for special visa status. They might be delivering the worst business course in Australia, but that is not being factored into the equation.
The third related area of concern identified in the report is the lack of transparency on the ratings of course quality. This is supported by a recent global survey of 45,000 international students by Hobsons Education Solutions. It highlighted that course rankings now come ahead of education institutions’ overall quality and the choice of country as the key driver of enrolments.
Happily, something is being done about this in Australia. The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) online platform will be released soon by Education Minister Christopher Pyne. QILT will incorporate student experience, graduate outcomes and employer satisfaction surveys into one easily accessible portal.
There has been a great deal of media interest recently in the complex relationships between education agents and education institutions. Unfortunately, none of this public commentary has mentioned that the federal Education Department is awaiting a report that it has commissioned on this very issue. The report is due by the end of June and more than 1000 key stakeholders have been surveyed already and separate education provider and agent focus groups have been held around the country.
The Productivity Commission report has provided yet one more set of recommendations to a sector that is already suffering from review fatigue. A long-awaited whole-of-government approach is in the mix now.
The government is to finalise soon its National Strategy for International Education. It is not before time that Australia’s third-largest export gets this attention.
 
Phil Honeywood is the executive director of the International Education Association of Australia.
Source: www.afr.com

November 7, 2013
November 7, 2013

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 

November 7, 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.

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 9, 2012

 

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

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 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 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 international education sector is one of Australia’s largest export industries and is important to Australia in supporting bilateral ties with key partner countries, supporting employment in a broad range of occupations throughout the Australian economy, as well as delivering high-value skills to the economy.

In December 2010, the Australian Government appointed the Hon Michael Knight AO to conduct the first strategic review of the student visa program to help enhance the quality, integrity and competitiveness of the student visa program.

On 7 March 2011, Mr Knight released a discussion paper and encouraged interested parties to make a written submission to the review.
See: Student Visa Program Review Discussion Paper (212KB PDF file)

There were 200 submissions received and they are available on the department’s website.
See: Submissions Received by the Review Team

Report released

Mr Knight reported to the government on 30 June 2011 with 41 recommendations. On 22 September 2011, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, and Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, released Mr Knight’s report, Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program 2011.
See: Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program 2011 (1.7MB PDF file)

Government’s response

The government supports in principle all of Mr Knight’s recommendations, however some recommendations will be modified in places to enhance the performance of the Australian education sector and to better safeguard the integrity of the visa system.
See: Boost to International Education Sector in Response to Knight Review – Media release

The fact sheet on the Government Response to the Knight Review of the Student Visa Program is available on the department’s website.
See: Fact Sheet – Government Response to the Knight Review of the Student Visa Program ( 72KB PDF file)

All of Mr Knight’s recommendations are available, as well as the actual or planned implementation dates.
See: Knight Review of the Student Visa Program—Recommendations with Expected Implementation Date

Stage one implementation

Stage one implementation of the Knight Review changes commenced on 5 November 2011. The following fact sheet details these changes.
See:
Fact Sheet – Stage One Implementation of the Knight Review Changes to the Student Visa program ( 66KB PDF file)
Students to Benefit as Knight Review Changes Rolled Out – Media release

Stage two implementation

The majority of the stage two Knight Review changes commenced on 24 and 26 March 2012. This includes streamlined visa processing for certain university applicants from 24 March 2012. Other stage two Knight Review changes are proposed to commence later in 2012 and in early 2013.
See:
Fact Sheet – Stage Two Implementation of the Knight Review Changes to the Student Visa Program ( 68KB PDF file)
Changes to Boost International Education – Media Release

One of the recommendations agreed to by government is the introduction of new post-study work arrangements, which are planned to come into effect in 2013.

On 30 November 2011, the government announced plans to extend eligibility of the post-study work visa. In addition to university graduates, the new post-study work arrangements are to be extended to Bachelor, Masters by coursework, Masters by research and PhD degree graduates from other education providers accredited to offer degree level programs in Australia.

The government also announced that graduates must complete their qualifications as a result of meeting the Australian study requirement which requires at least two academic years’ study in Australia.
See:
Government Extends Support for International Education – Media Release
Australian Study Requirement

To address recommendation 24 of the Knight Review, the government has recently introduced a Bill into Parliament that proposes to cease the automatic cancellation of student visas. 
See: Improvements for Existing Student Visa Holders ( 76KB PDF file)

Discussion paper on the Review of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework (Recommendation 32)

Comments on the discussion paper on the Review of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework closed on 16 March 2012.
See: Discussion Paper on the Review of the Student Visa AL Framework (201KB PDF file)

Frequently asked questions

The following information package provides further detail on the Knight Review changes to the student visa program.
See:
The University Sector – Streamlined Processing ( 88KB PDF file)
Post-Study Work Arrangements ( 75KB PDF file)
Genuine Temporary Entrant Requirement ( 94KB PDF file)
Vocational Education and Training (VET), Schools and Non-Award Sectors ( 87KB PDF file)
English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Sector ( 76KB PDF file)
Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Sector ( 79KB PDF file)
More Flexible Work Conditions ( 68KB PDF file)
Improvements for Existing Student Visa Holders ( 76KB PDF file)
Visa Processing Improvements ( 75KB PDF file)
Education Visa Consultative Committee (EVCC) ( 49KB PDF file)
Review of Assessment Level Framework ( 62KB PDF file)

See also: 
Review of Assessment Level Framework – Terms of Reference ( 59KB PDF file)
List of External Reference Group Members – Revi
ew of Assessment Level Framework

 

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

March 9, 2012

 

INTERNATIONAL students comprise over a quarter of onshore enrolments at half of the Group of Eight, while one in three students at highly ranked Macquarie University is from overseas, a new Australian Education International report has found.

The AEI snapshot suggests Australia’s elite universities are heavily reliant on fragile overseas markets, with international students representing around 27 per cent of enrolments at Melbourne, ANU, UNSW and Adelaide.

The DEEWR-sourced data shows that the proportion of international students at all Go8 institutions apart from the University of Western Australia is above the national average of 22.3 per cent.

But international education researcher Alan Olsen said this was a reasonable average, and it was no surprise Go8 institutions were above it.

“An aggregate 22.3 per cent is appropriate for Australia, where 22.2 per cent of us were born overseas and 21.5 per cent speak a language other than English at home,” Mr Olsen said.

Mr Olsen said only around 8 per cent of people in the UK were born overseas, and about 12 per cent in the US.

A separate AEI report last month found that Australia’s proportion of international tertiary enrolments was more than three times the OECD average of 6.7 per cent, and six times the US average of 3.4 per cent.

But it found international students in the US were concentrated in about 25 highly ranked institutions, with two – Columbia and the University of Southern California – experiencing international proportions above the Australian average.

The international proportion of enrolments was 22.1 per cent at Stanford, 20 per cent at Cornell, 19.9 per cent at Georgia Institute of Technology and 18.4 per cent at Harvard, it added.

But these figures pale compared to some Australian universities, with the dual-sector University of Ballarat leading the pack at 47.7 per cent, followed by private Bond University at 40.5 per cent.

Ballarat has about 5600 domestic students and 5100 international students, according to the new AEI figures.

But Ballarat vice-chancellor David Battersby said the figures were “disingenuous” because they didn’t differentiate between dual-sector and standalone universities.

“They create a false impression about what a dual-sector university is, suggesting some sort of line in the sand between our higher education and VET students,” he said.

“That’s not the case – we have integrated schools. Why would they want to make the dual-sectors invisible in all this?”

Professor Battersby said Ballarat had a total of about 17,000 domestic students and an international proportion of about 22 per cent.

The AEI figures reveal above average international proportions at the other three Victorian dual-sectors – 32.8 per cent at Swinburne, 29.3 per cent at RMIT and 23.8 per cent at VU.

A DEEWR spokesperson said AEI had used information supplied by universities. “This ensures comparable data for all institutions,” he said.

“The table compares onshore international and domestic higher education students. [No] VET students were included for any university.”

Professor Battersby said most of Ballarat’s international students were with longstanding partners.

“While there has been a decline in our overall number of international students, our partner provider model has proven to be resilient,” he said.

Meanwhile, draft legislation for the tuition protection service – the new consumer protection facility for overseas students recommended by the Baird review – suggests universities will be required to sign up.

Universities and TAFEs have been exempted from paying fees to the existing ESOS Assurance Fund, and universities had lobbied for the arrangement to continue.

But Professor Battersby said the TPS needed to be seen as part of “a big package of arrangements” for international students including the Knight Review student visa reforms as well as changes stemming from the Baird Review.

Source : Australian

February 16, 2012

The changes are in response to the immigration department’s 2011 review of student visa assessment level settings.

INTERNATIONAL students will more easily be able to apply for visas following changes announced by Federal Immigration and Citizenship Minister, Chris Bowen.

The changes, welcomed by the higher education sector, mean the number of assessment levels across a range of student visa subclasses will be reduced, making the visa application process easier for students from 29 countries.

The changes, which will take effect from March 24, are in response to the immigration department’s 2011 review of student visa assessment level settings.

“While it was recommended that some assessment levels be increased, I have decided to only implement the reductions in order to best support Australia’s international education sector,” Mr Bowen said.

Mr Bowen said the changes would help around 10,500 prospective students.

“These changes will particularly benefit the postgraduate research sector, English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students and vocational education and training providers.”

For example, South Koreans studying VET and ELICOS courses and postgraduate research students from China, India and Indonesia will now find it easier to apply for visas, Mr Bowen said.

Universities Australia welcomed the changes to the student visa system as “a terrific outcome”.

“It really is a terrific outcome not just for the higher education sector but for the Australian economy more broadly because at a time we’re seeing manufacturing struggling, tourism struggling, both primarily because of the strong Australian dollar, it’s really important for those industries that are strong to be able to step up to offset some of those economic implications,” said Universities Australia chief executive, Belinda Robinson.

“The international education sector is Australia’s third largest export industry, and over the 2010-11 period international higher education students spent an average of $38,000 each in this country on goods, services and fees.

“And as well the stronger our international education industry is, the more affordable education is for Australian students.”

Meanwhile a new report released by ranking provider QS (Quacquarelli Symonds Limited) found Australian cities are among the most attractive study destinations in the world.

Using scores that take into account student mix, affordability, quality of living and employer activity, as well as their own QS World University Rankings, the company compiled a top fifty list of the ”best student cities”.

Ms Robinson said that according to QS, Australia had more cities than any other country in the world listed in the top 50, making it one of the world’s most favourable study environments.

If “affordability” was removed as a criterion, Melbourne and Sydney would be ranked at number 1 and 4 respectively.

“While it may be a little more expensive to live and study in Australia, the quality of living, employment opportunities, student mix and the quality of universities makes Australia a very appealing place for those seeking to study abroad,” Ms Robinson said.

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au 16 February 2012

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October 12, 2011
October 12, 2011

Seven Australian universities have secured places in a list of the top 200 higher education institutions in the world, according to the Times Higher Education world university rankings.

Heading the list is the University of Melbourne (37, down from 36 last year).

Big improvements were made by the University of Sydney (58, up from 71 last year) and the Australian National University (38, up from 43 last year).

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The University of Queensland continued its impressive rise in the international standing, reaching 74 from 81 last year.

The University of Adelaide (73 last year) has dropped from the list.

Monash University (117), the University of NSW (173) and the University of Western Australia (189) round out the list of Australian entrants.

Harvard was knocked from the top of the perch for the first time in eight years by the California Institute of Technology to now sit in equal second place with Stanford University.

Oxford, in fourth place, edged past Cambridge, which is sixth.

Arts, humanities and social sciences placed on an equal footing with science in the Times rankings, which are built on what the publication terms the four core missions of a modern global university: research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity.

The highest-ranking Asian university is the University of Tokyo in 30th place; China has only three universities in the top 200 list.

The Times list is one of the more authoritative rankings.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald  smh.com.au

October 3, 2011

 

Australia’s 39 universities are preparing for a brand new day in 2012: not only will government quotas on the number of local students they enrol be lifted, but they will also be able to recruit as many foreigners as they wish as a result of a new fast-track visa system.

In an unexpectedly generous move that surprised even sceptical vice-chancellors, the federal government decided to lift most restrictions on the issuing of student visas to overseas students applying for a university place, opening the way for a likely flood of new applications from China, India, Pakistan and other Asian countries.

Universities that agree to meet certain requirements regarding the students they admit will also have access to a new streamlined system that will speed up visa processing.

The government’s imposition of tighter visa rules two years ago was a reaction to dodgy college operators using vocational education courses as a front for their clients to obtain permanent residency visas. As tens of thousands of students enrolled in cooking and hairdressing courses in the hope of staying on after completion, a debate began to rage about Australia allowing relatively unskilled migrants with poor English into the country.

The stricter visa rules also applied to applicants seeking university places while, at the same time, the Australian dollar began rising sharply against the US dollar. These changes made obtaining a visa to study here harder and more expensive than in Canada or the US; and as the number of full-fee international students fell sharply, universities suddenly found a significant source of non-government income drying up.

In 2009, the estimated economic benefit to Australia of having nearly 500,000 fee-paying foreign students enrolled in schools, colleges and universities was AUD18 billion (US$18 billion); two years later this had fallen by AUD2 billion.

As vice-chancellor protests became louder, the government appointed a former New South Wales Labor government minister, Michael Knight, to review the situation.

In a 150-page report just released, Knight proposed a series of changes he claimed would boost the competitiveness of Australian universities in the global student marketplace. Although his 41 recommendations apply mostly to universities, the changes effectively give vice-chancellors almost total freedom to recruit as many foreign students as they want.

To the surprise of every higher education lobby group, the government accepted all the recommendations and promised to implement them before the start of second semester next year.

Among the changes expected to improve the attractiveness of Australian higher education is the scrapping of a rule requiring foreign students to prove they have enough money saved to allow them to study in the country for two years.

A student from China, by far Australia’s biggest source of international students, at present must have access to at least AUD100,000 to obtain a visa. From mid-2012, however, students will only need to declare they can afford to pay tuition and living costs. As well, those who graduate with at least a bachelor degree from a university will be able to stay on and work for up to four years and will not be tied to any particular occupation.

“All applicants will still be subject to basic requirements such as having health insurance and not being a security or health risk. And the Department of Immigration will reserve the right to look separately at applications from any group that poses a particular concern,” Knight says in his report.

“However, beyond those basic requirements, [the Department] will effectively take the university’s word that the student is suitable. Therefore universities can be confident their students will have their applications processed quickly.”

But Knight warns that “these substantial benefits” come with significant obligations: universities will be accountable for the visa outcomes of their students. If these outcomes are consistently poor, the university will be removed from the streamlined processing arrangements and prospective students will be processed under the existing rules.

Despite universities being subject to government “checks and balances and integrity measures” before gaining access to the new streamlined visa procedures, critics say the changes will open the doors to a new wave of foreign student workers who, after graduating, will compete with Australians for jobs and add to the thousands already seeking to stay on a permanent residents.

Monash University social scientist and demographer Dr Bob Birrell said past experience showed that thousands of students from poorer families who could not meet the costs of fees and living expenses were now likely to apply for university. Birrell, founder of Monash’s Centre for Population and Urban Research, said the result would be a significant influx of students seeking through a university education to gain access to the Australian labour market.

“We have had repeated examples of this in the past, starting with the English language college debacle of the late 1980s and more recently the vocational college debacle over cooks and hairdressers,” he said. “I’m amazed the Immigration Department has gone along with this because they know what happened in the past.”

Another critic, Peter Holden, said Knight’s decision to confine the changes to universities was against federal government policy, which wanted an integrated tertiary sector with a single regulatory body. “His old-school approach reinforces outdated stereotypes and elitist views of post-secondary education,” Holden said.

“Knight’s reasoning is that if things go off the rails it will be easier for the Department of Immigration to rein in universities because there are only 39 of them. This is not exactly a ringing endorsement of high quality and low risk. As Knight admits, universities are not perfect.”

Holden is director of international engagement for TAFE Directors Australia, the heads of the country’s public technical and further education colleges. Writing in The Australian newspaper’s higher education section, he said one in five students in Australia’s universities was from overseas – among the highest ratios in the world.

“For the whole public vocational education sector, including all qualification levels, the ratio is less than one in 27. In terms of stability, TAFE institutes are equally well-managed with high levels of accountability and transparency.

“The Knight review perpetuates the flawed impression the problem lies within the vocational education and training sector, as though it can be treated as one amorphous whole.”

Source: Geoff Maslen / 02 October 2011 / Issue: 191  /university world news

 

September 29, 2011

 

September 2011

International Education Agency-Australia, one of the largest education agent of Australia has welcomed the Government’s response to the Knight review into the student visa program, in particular steps to remove barriers for genuine higher education students to study in Australia.

The Australian federal government commissioned the Knight Review into the student visa program in Dec 2010 to investigate ways to make Australia more competitive whilst maintaining the integrity of the migration system and the quality of its education system.

This followed a steady downturn of international students choosing to study in Australia after changes to visa and migration policy in early 2010.

In June Michael Knight handed his report to the Government and on 22 September the Government, Senator Evans, Minister for Education, and Minister Bowen, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, released the report with the statement that they were accepting all 41 of Knight’s recommendations.

A number of significant changes are outlined below.

Changes to student visa eligibility and processing:

  • That all higher education students applying to study a bachelor degree or higher at a university or a packaged course, regardless of country of origin, will be treated as a student from an AL1 country. This means a change to a declaration of proof of funds and in many countries the ability to apply via the eVisa system which should significantly reduce the time taken to secure a student visa. English language courses and other preparatory course will also be included in this streamlined process.
  • Allowing English language students to apply for a visa without first meeting minimum English language skills requirements; and
  • The policy of Pre¬Visa Assessment will be discontinued.
  • That student visas be allowed to be granted in advance of four months before the commencement of the relevant course. Where necessary visas should specify a date before which the holder cannot enter Australia.

Changes to student work rights:

  • An enhanced post study work visa regime for international university graduates, particularly withdrawing skills assessment and the requirement to work in any particular occupation.
  • In addition the term of the post study work visa will increase from 18 to 24 months for undergraduates degrees, up to three years for Masters and four years for PhD.
  • That student work entitlements be measured as 40 hours per fortnight instead of 20 hours per week

Changes to be made regarding Agents:

  • That the necessary legislative changes be made to require the name of any agent involved to be entered into the student’s data into PRISMS.
  • That DEEWR take steps to encourage providers to voluntarily enter agent data into PRISMS in the interim before the ESOS Act is changed to make this mandatory.
  • That DIAC upgrade its liaison at overseas posts with migration and education agents in relation to the student visa program, including regular meetings to keep agents abreast of any changes in rules and procedures.

Changes to visa compliance and enforcement:

  • The mandatory cancellation requirement for unsatisfactory attendance, unsatisfactory progress and working in excess of the hours allowed should be removed, giving DIAC officers the discretion to determine cancellation in particular cases on their merits.
  • DIAC should concentrate its compliance and integrity resources in relation to student visas on the highest risk areas.
  • Automatic cancellation of student visas should be abolished and replaced by a system in which information conveyed by SCVs is used as an input into a more targeted and strategic analysis of non‐compliance.

The full list of 41 recommendations has been provided below.

One of the most significant changes is that the onus on judging student visa eligibility has been passed to universities and their partners, who will need to ensure that standards are maintained otherwise the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) reserves the right to strip institutions of their ability to streamline visa processing.

Other education providers such as Vocation Education institutions have not yet been granted the ability to streamline their visa processing like the universities but the government has highlighted plans to widen this option based on a provider risk assessment.

In accepting Knight’s recommendations the Australian government has also indicated that it plans to review the current Assessment Level system and take further steps to improve the current risk management framework.

The implementation timeframe for many of these changes is not yet established but the government has committed to having most changes operational by the commencement of the second semester in 2012.

 

Recommendations

Recommendation 1

That a new element be introduced into the eligibility criteria for a student visa. That new criterion will be to assess whether the applicant is a genuine temporary entrant. This new criterion should be the first to be considered in assessing any application for a student visa.

Recommendation 2

A successful applicant must be both a genuine temporary entrant and a genuine student.

Recommendation 3 – streamlined visa processing for universities

3.1 That all students in the categories set out below, irrespective of their country of origin

– but subject to the provisions in 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7 should be treated as though they are all AL1.

 

3.2 This treatment should apply to the following university student applicants:

  • Bachelor Degree;
  • 2 plus 2 (or 3 plus 1) arrangements with partner universities;
  • Masters Degree by Coursework.

3.3 The special treatment should not apply to:

  • short courses;
  • Associate Degree;
  • Graduate diploma;
  • Graduate certificate;
  • Diploma and Advanced Diploma;
  • non‐award courses (except as provided for in Recommendation 18);
  • the non‐university courses at the six universities which are dual sector (VET and university).

3.4 The benefits should also apply to courses which are explicitly packaged with an eligible university course at the time when the offer of university enrolment is made. This might include English language (ELICOS) and/or foundation or pathway courses in circumstances where non compliance by the student at any part of the package would be regarded as non‐compliance with the university enrolment.

3.5 The government should continue to require appropriate health checks, health insurance, character (predominantly criminal record/connections) and security checks.

3.6 The underlying DIAC powers in regard to every individual student application should continue to exist.

3.7 The government should also reserve the right to exclude certain high risk groups from the streamlined approach for university applicants. For example, the government might want to carefully assess all applicants from a persecuted minority group in a particular country. Applicants from such a group might have a huge incentive to apply for protection visas as soon as they reach Australia. The Australian Government may or may not wish to take such people on humanitarian grounds but that should be a separate decision and should not get mixed up with the process of granting visas for university students.

Recommendation 4 Post Study Work Rights

4.1 All graduates of an Australian university Bachelor degree, who have spent at least two academic years studying that degree in Australia, and who have complied with their visa conditions, should receive two years work rights.

4.2 All graduates of an Australian university Mast
ers by Coursework degree, who have studied that degree in Australia, and who have complied with their visa conditions, should receive two years work rights on successful completion of their course.

4.3 This should apply irrespective of the nature of the course (for example whether it be Arts or Engineering) and not be tied to working in any particular occupation.

4.4 The mechanism for taking up these work rights should be administratively very simple with the following components:

  • the university must notify that the course has been successfully completed. (This will be earlier than the formal graduation which could be many months after the course has been completed);
  • DIAC should not undertake any detailed, time consuming, assessment of the applicant;
  • the scheme must be one which can be marketed by the universities to prospective students as almost guaranteeing post study work rights.

Recommendation 5

That all Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students – visa subclass 574 ‐be treated as though they are all AL1 applicants.

Recommendation 6

That where any English language or other preparatory course is required by the Higher Degree by Research provider then the whole package still be treated as AL1.

Recommendation 7

That all Higher Degree by Research students be given unlimited work rights.

Recommendation 8

Masters by Research graduates should receive three years post‐study work rights and PhD graduates four years.

Recommendation 9

That the visa arrangements for Higher Degree by Research students be such that an extension for up to six months after submission of their thesis is available if needed during the interactive marking process.

Recommendation 10

That, provided the integrity measures relating to the revised criteria for a student visa are implemented (as set out in Recommendation 1), the threshold English language test requirements for stand alone ELICOS students be removed.

Recommendation 11

That the English language requirements for school students in AL4 be the same as those applying for AL1 through to AL3 and the associated waiver scheme abolished.

Recommendation 12

That the maximum period of time a school student visa holder can study English be 50 weeks across all ALs.

Recommendation 13

That the current restrictions on student guardians of a maximum of three months of study be maintained but unlimited part‐time study rights for ELICOS study only be allowed.

Recommendation 14

That pre‐paid homestay fees be included in financial assessments on the same basis as pre‐paid boarding fees.

Recommendation 15

That as a matter of some urgency AusAID, DIAC, DOHA and other relevant Australian government agencies develop an integrated policy in relation to the award of scholarships and how visa arrangements for awardees are to be managed. In particular they should address the situation of potential awardees who have a disability or HIV.

Recommendation 16

That PhD students entering under the subclass 576 visa have access to the same extension provisions recommended for Higher Degree by Research students in Recommendation 9, provided AusAID is prepared to fund their extended period.

Recommendation 17

That DIAC and DEEWR meet with State education authorities to work out what can be done to avoid the situation where a visa for a child dependent cannot be granted until proof of enrolment is present and state education authorities will not grant such proof until proof of visa grant is made. Any agreed remedy should apply across all student visa subclasses.

Recommendation 18

That students coming for semester or year¬long non‐award courses at an Australian university as part of their home universities degree and/or as part of an agreed student exchange between universities be given access to streamlined processing as outlined in Recommendation 3.

Recommendation 19

That DIAC undertake specific research targeted at integrity and compliance issues into student visa outcomes, including both primary and secondary applicants, to inform policy development.

Recommendation 20

That DIAC be appropriately funded to further develop research capability across the program.

Recommendation 21

That DIAC, to the extent permitted by legislation, co‐operate with its counterparts across all levels of government to facilitate information sharing, to inform evidence based decision making.

Recommendation 22

In the event that the research over the next 12 months reveals systemic abuse of dependant (secondary applicant) visas, that the government seriously consider mirroring the recent UK policy and restrict dependant visas to Masters and above courses unless the primary applicant is sponsored by a government.

Recommendation 23

Current arrangements whereby SCVs automatically become NCNs should cease. SCV information should continue to be conveyed to DIAC who should use it as an input into a more targeted and strategic analysis of non‐compliance.

Recommendation 24

Automatic cancellation of student visas should be abolished and replaced by a system in which information conveyed by SCVs is used as an input into a more targeted and strategic analysis of non‐compliance.

Recommendation 25

The mandatory cancellation requirement for unsatisfactory attendance, unsatisfactory progress and working in excess of the hours allowed should be removed, giving DIAC officers the discretion to determine cancellation in particular cases on their merits.

 

Recommendation 26

DIAC should concentrate its compliance and integrity resources in relation to student visas on the highest risk areas.

Recommendation 27

DIAC should not only respond to information generated by PRISMS but also be proactive in detecting the sorts of breaches (for example sham marriages and exceeding permissible work hours) which are not reported in PRISMS.

Recommendation 28

That student work entitlements be measured as 40 hours per fortnight instead of 20 hours per week

Recommendation 29

That the necessary legislative changes be made to require the name of any agent involved to be entered into the student’s data into PRISMS.

Recommendation 30

That DEEWR take steps to encourage providers to voluntarily enter agent data into PRISMS in the interim before the ESOS Act is changed to make this mandatory.

Recommendation 31

That DEEWR and DIAC establish a single student identifier to track international students through their studies in Australia.

Recommendation 32

That DIAC undertake a review of the AL framework, with a mind to either abolishing the system entirely or modifying the framework to make it relevant to current and future challenges facing the student visa program. This review should be managed by DIAC but should include reference to an external panel or reference group.

Recommendation 33

That DIAC upgrade its liaison at overseas posts with migration and education agents in relation to the student visa program, including regular meetings to keep agents abreast of any changes in rules and procedures.

Recommendation 34

That Austrade be asked to prepare a more detailed outlook document that provides effective business planning intelligence demonstrating the opportunities, for offshore provision of vo
cational education.

Recommendation 35

That the highest quality Australian VET providers including TAFEs, be encouraged to explore offshore market opportunities.

Recommendation 36

That the Australian Government, through programs such as the Export Market Development Grants Scheme and other forms of assistance, support high quality Australian vocational education providers in expanding their offshore training services.

Recommendation 37

That DIAC constitute an Education Visa Advisory Group as a primary means of regular two way communication between stakeholders in the international education sector and DIAC.

Recommendation 38

That the policy regarding Pre‐Visa Assessment (PVA) be discontinued.

Recommendation 39

That student visas be allowed to be granted in advance of four months before the commencement of the relevant course. Where necessary visas should specify a date before which the holder cannot enter Australia.

Recommendation 40

That DIAC regularly reviews the current living cost amount, and based on the CPI or other measure amend the amount, as required.

Recommendation 41

That DIAC review the exclusion criteria and policy which relate to student visa non‐compliance.

 

September 28, 2011

 

 

OVERSEAS AID: Visa rules and red tape is being eased to help more foreign students come to Australian universities.

AUSTRALIAN universities will be more attractive to overseas students under new visa rules to be adopted in time for the second semester of 2012, the government says.

The federal government announced on Thursday it will streamline visa processing for students enrolling in Australian universities.

Financial requirements for student visas will be eased, so applicants will need about $36,000 less in their bank account than they do now.

And new post-study work visas will allow students to remain in Australia for two to four years after their course ends, depending on their level of qualification.

But the student visa criteria will be tightened slightly so applicants will have to prove they are genuine students and genuine about returning home.

The changes follow a review of the student visa program led by former NSW government minister Michael Knight and the government has accepted all 41 of his recommendations.

“It’s not enough to be genuine about your studies and have no intention of going home, nor is it enough to be genuine about going home but not serious about your studies,” Mr Knight said.

Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans said the changes would help Australian universities be more competitive in the international market.

“They have articulated for a long time that the visa processes are a barrier to attracting students in an increasingly competitive environment,” he told reporters.

Contrary to perceptions, international student numbers across the education sector had continued to grow in the past year, though providers expected 2012 to be tough.

That was partly because of the old visa system and factors such as the high Australian dollar.

But Senator Evans said the sector’s previous growth rate was unsustainable and could not continue.

“I think we had some of those problems with student welfare because the system had just grown too quickly,” he said.

“This will help put this sector on a very good footing to continue to grow.”

Australian institutions could now compete on the basis of their education offerings and not be hindered by any visa requirements.

Mr Knight said it was important to strike a balance between the economic benefits brought by international students and protecting the integrity of migration controls.

From: AAP September 23, 2011 12:00AM

May 27, 2011

 

The Endeavour Awards is the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program providing opportunities for citizens of the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia. Awards are also available for Australians to undertake study research and professional development abroad.

 

The Endeavour Awards aim to:

  • Develop ongoing educational, research and professional linkages between individuals, organisations and countries;
  • Provide opportunities for high achieving individuals to increase their skills and enhance their global awareness;
  • Contribute to Australia’s position as a high quality education and training provider, and leader in research and innovation; and
  • Increase the productivity of Australians through an international study, research or professional development experience.

 

The Endeavour Awards are a part of the Australia Awards initiative, which brings together, under a single recognisable brand, the Endeavour Awards run by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ (DEEWR) and the Development Awards offered by AusAID. For further information visit the Australia Awards website at www.AustraliaAwards.gov.au.

 

Award Summary

Award Name

Maximum value

Maximum duration

Study Level

Endeavour Postgraduate Award (incoming only)

A$228,500

Up to 2 years for a Masters; up to 4 years for a PhD

Postgraduate study/research for an Australian Masters degree or PhD

Endeavour Research Fellowships (including Research Fellowships for Indigenous Australians & Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellowships)

A$23,500

4 – 6 months

Research towards a Masters degree or PhD in home country; or postdoctoral research

Endeavour Vocational Education and Training (VET) Award (incoming only)

A$119,500

1 – 2.5 years

Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Associate Degree

Endeavour Executive Award

A$18,500

1 – 4 months

Professional development

Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Award (Incoming Postgraduate)

A$263,500

Up to 4 years

+ up to 1 year optional internship

PhD by research;

Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Award Outgoing Postgraduate

A$63,500

Up to 2 years

PhD by research;

Ma by coursework;

Ma by research;

Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Award Outgoing Undergraduate

A$53,500

Up to 2 years

Bachelor Degree;

Honours

January 25, 2011

 

New research shows international students’ level of satisfaction with Australian education is on the rise.

According to The National Survey of International Students Studying in Australia report,

  • 84% of international students were satisfied or
  • very satisfied with their study experience and 86% with their living experience in Australia.

“It was also encouraging to find that more than 85% of students were satisfied or very satisfied with the level of support they received on arrival, confirming Australia’s reputation as a country that welcomes international students,” said Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans.

In the latest survey, conducted from late 2009 to mid 2010, the top four factors influencing tertiary students’ decision to study in Australia were:

  • quality of teaching (94% of respondents);
  • reputation of the qualification from their chosen education institution (93%);
  • personal safety (92%), and;
  • reputation of the institution (91%).

The overview report is available at www.aei.gov.au

November 16, 2010

 

On 11th November the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, announced the government’s intention to implement a new points test applying to certain skilled migration applications made on or after 1 July 2011.

The new points test will not apply to unfinalised applications lodged prior to 1 July 2011.

It is proposed that a new points test for skilled migration visa applications will be introduced on 1 July 2011. It complements the series of reforms the Australian Government announced in February 2010.

The new points test is focused on selecting highly skilled people to deliver a more responsive and targeted migration program. It was developed following a review of the current points test, which considered submissions from a variety of experts and the wider Australian community.

The new points test balances the different factors that are considered when determining whether someone will be granted a skilled migration visa. It will deliver the best and brightest skilled migrants by emphasising high level qualifications, better English language levels and extensive skilled work experience.

The new points test will continue to award points for study in Australia, including regional study, community languages, partner skills and completing an approved Professional Year. Points will no longer be awarded on the basis of an applicant’s occupation, but all applicants must still nominate an occupation on the applicable Skilled Occupation List.

 

Under the new points test, points will no longer be awarded on the basis of occupation. Applicants will still be required to nominate a skilled occupation and provide a satisfactory skills assessment from the relevant Australian assessment authority for that occupation.

The equal weighting of occupations will have the added benefit of not distorting the study choices of international students. For more information of the point test see: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/points-fact.pdf .

The Minister’s speech includes this statement: “Educating the future leaders of our regional partners can make an important contribution to our diplomatic efforts long into the future. The measures I’m announcing today strike the appropriate balance between recognising valuable overseas qualifications and encouraging study at Australian institutions.”

For the complete speech see: http://www.chrisbowen.net/media-centre/allNews.do?newsId=3889 .

For further details: