Australia moves to simplify the visa system again

A simplified student visa framework (SSVF) in Australia will come into effect in mid-2016, replacing the current SVP framework which is now set to expire on 30 June 2016. As a result;

A great reduction in the number of student visa subclasses: from the current eight to two when the SSVF takes effect.

The introduction of a single immigration risk framework under which all international students will be assessed, regardless of whether they are applying for university degrees, VET diplomas, English-language studies, or any other programs.

To determine students’ financial and English language evidentiary requirements in their student visa application, the SSVF will look at the profile of the student’s country of citizenship and of their education provider.

Simple system for more better prospective students and also better for students

In addition to being excited about a more inclusive approach to streamlined visa processing, Australia’s international educators are pleased that the SSVF will be much easier for prospective students to understand, and to apply for, than is the current system.

Post-study work opportunities and its importance

Post-study work opportunities are key to the experience of international students in Australia, particularly those in the country’s very important vocational training (VET) sector, which enrolled nearly 150,000 international students in 2014.

The international graduate outcomes and employer perceptions survey found that more than half of the international higher education and VET graduates working in the same field as their studies nominated relevant work experience as a factor that helped them get a job.

The government’s draft strategy released in April 2014 proposed to:
- Work with institutions to provide information about the work eligibility of international students and graduates to build employer awareness of the benefits of engaging international students in their organizations and help promote their employment;
- Gain a better understanding of the factors preventing students from participating in work experience programs and post-study work arrangements;
- Work with institutions to keep international students well informed of their work rights under Australian law;
- Ensure Australia’s visa settings enable international students to gain valuable work experience both during and after studies.

The draft strategy has also pointed out the priority areas;
• Getting the fundamentals right:
Institutions will be encouraged to be autonomous and to build their individual strengths;
Quality controls will be strengthened without creating excess bureaucracy;
Investment will be poured into research and research infrastructure.

• Reaching out to the world:
Australia will continue to invest in its existing research partnerships but also develop new ones;
Research collaboration will be a priority;
Australian students will be encouraged to study abroad more to increase two-way mobility flow.

• Staying competitive:
Efforts will focus on improving international students’ experience through initiatives such as:
Working to improve international students’ English proficiency;
Maintaining competitive visas and strong consumer protections;
Providing more post-study work opportunities for eligible international students;
Assuring the provision of cutting-edge technologies and innovative teaching models into classrooms, as well as online and distance education;
Lowering international students’ transportation costs;
Bettering international students’ cultural integration into communities;
Improving student accommodation, including the construction of purpose-built accommodation for students.

Education and Training International (ETI)     Education Center of Australia (ECA)
Asia Pacific International College (APIC)      Zenith Business Academy (ZBA)
Victoria University and Asia Pacific International College      Other Institutions

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