Australia Expects A Surge In Overseas Students

25 Jan 2014


Immigration News

One of the highest export sectors of Australia is International education, which generated an income of $15.3 billion and thousands of jobs for Australians in 2011-12. However, due to local and global factors, the number of Australian Student Visa grants declined between 2009 and 2011.

Headed by the Hon Michael Knight AO, the first independent review of the Australian Student Visa program was commissioned by the Federal Government in December 2010. A string of suggestions were made to better the situation and higher education institutions had warned that financially, the decreasing numbers will have a serious impact.

The suggestions emerging from the review aimed to focus on the drop in Australian student visas through the launch of initiatives like SVP (Streamlined Visa Processing).

The suggestions of the review also included providing post-study work arrangements for up to 4 years to overseas graduates who finished their degree, and authorizing overseas students to obtain Australian work experience to follow their Australian qualification which will improve the position of the overseas qualification.

The review report also mentioned that it will arrange a valuable exposure to students with the Australian labor market and help Australia stay competitive in higher education globally.

In March 2013, these changes were implemented. The name of the Skilled Graduate (subclass 485) Visa has been changed to Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) Visa and modified to add the new post-study work arrangements for particular graduates of an Australian Doctoral, Master or Bachelor degree.

With these changes, Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) Visa holders and their families can stay in the country for a longer period to travel and work in Australia after the completion of their studies.

The Assistant Secretary of Education Tourism and International Arrangements, Sophie Montgomery said that this is an excellent example of how a good public policy can boost opportunities for overseas students in Australia.

She added that it will also back the international education sector while continuing a high level of integrity in the Australian student visa program.

The DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) said that it received several enquiries regarding the new initiative and at the end of the academic year, it is anticipating a surge of applications.

A DIBP spokesman said that along with SVP, the new changes make Australia a more famous destination for overseas students, who make a worthy contribution to their communities and academic life, further supporting a valuable sector of the Australian economy.


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