29 November 2010

Mixed reaction by education industry over Australian Student Visa regulations

Changes to Australian visa regulations have been both welcomed and criticized by various parts of the international education export sector.

Australian Visa

Changes will see Higher Education Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas delivered by some providers given special consideration.

Australian immigration Minister Senator Chris Bowen announced changes to the Migration Regulations Act 1994, which provides for the specification of the types of courses grouped under each sub-class of student visa.

Under the changes, Higher Education Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas delivered by some providers are being given special consideration to be moved to a more favourable Australian Visa  subclass.

Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas registered under the higher education sector framework will be given preferential treatment compared with those registered under the Australian Quality Training Framework.

Some colleges and education providers are concerned that the changes clearly favour the business interests of a few large entities – and make things difficult for smaller competitors.

Global education services provider Navitas welcomed changes to student visa regulations.

Previously, higher education students needed higher levels of financial savings over vocational students to secure a student visa - which was very difficult for legitimate students in some key countries such as Vietnam.

"We are heartened that Minister Chris Bowen's consultation with industry has resulted in these changes which should help to mitigate the recent downturn in international students in Australia," said Rod Jones, CEO of Navitas.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa application with the Australian Embassy

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