Changes to the Australian Student Visa rules will have a detrimental impact on vocational training providers.
30 November 2010
Australian Student Visa changes will cost jobs, say education providers
Education providers say the change to Australian Student Visa rules could cost a thousand jobs.
This month, the Australian immigration Department eased rules on the amount of funds needed for international students studying for higher education diplomas but not for those seeking vocational education diplomas.
The vocational diploma sector is angry about the changes, which it says is unfair both for students and smaller providers – particularly as many provide diploma pathways for students who intend to go on the further university study.
One small operator is even threatening legal action against the government and Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen.
Director of Kelly Colleges in Brisbane, Natasha Mayrseidl has demanded that Mr Bowen rescind the new Australian Student Visa regulation, known as Instrument IMMI 10/069, and has threatened court action for damages and to seek an injunction against the new regulation.
Ms Mayrseidl said ninety per cent of students who enrol into Kelly colleges' diplomas go directly to their second year of a Bachelor program at university.
She said the changes give an advantage to larger training providers who operate under the higher education assessment category.
Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) acting chief executive officer Claire Field said while the minister's decision was good for higher education providers it will have a detrimental impact on vocational training providers.
Ms Field said ACPET estimated the change would cost 1000 jobs.
A spokeswoman for Mr Bowen said key bodies were consulted before the changes were made and the changes will only affect a small proportion of prospective students - those who wish to study for Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas at a higher education institution rather than a Vocational Education and Training institution.