Immigration NEWS!

17th of Dec. 2010
Australia to relax student visa norms under pressure of education sector & falling economy
Australia is considering relaxing its student visa norms, with pressure mounting on the country after relaxed visa norms applied by Canada & New Zealand diverting the potential students to these countries. The federal government has bowed to pressure from the country’s tertiary institutions over international student visa criteria, The Age reported on its website.

Critics say that the delay in processing student visas has hurt the international students market in the country & often changes in Australian immigration law further did the job to divert students to countries like New Zealand & Canada. Universities, Colleges cried foul over the attitude of policy makers, with their budgets shrinking & definite job cuts to be applied.

Announcing a review of student visas Wednesday, Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans conceded that changes were necessary to prop up the ailing sector, worth $4.5 billion to Victoria state each year.

“The Australian international education sector has come under increasing pressure as a result of the rising value of the Australian dollar, the ongoing impact of the global financial crisis in some countries, and growing competition from the United States, New Zealand and Canada for international students,” Senator Evans said.

New measures to shore up student numbers include: Reducing assessment levels from April 2011, including the higher education visa assessment levels for applicants from China and India. The most recent international student figures show a 1.4 percent decline in enrolments since December last year - in stark comparison to the past eight years, in which the sector grew 11 percent a year.

Senator Evans said the review would consider ways to “better manage immigration risk” and recommend ways to improve partnerships between education providers and visa-processing arrangements.

Headed by former NSW minister for the Sydney Olympics Michael Knight, the review is scheduled to report back to Senator Evans and Immigration Minister Chris Bowen by mid-2011.

Australia should understand the needs of immigration of the international students before formulating policies, any misuse of these policies is not the strength of applicant, but is weakness of the immigration authorities.

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