Tag: Australia education

Australia asks international students to ‘rely on family support, part-time work where available and their own savings to sustain themselves in Australia’

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 4 Apri 2020: Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, Australia wants its 565,000 international students to fend for themselves. The government says in a press statement, “As part of their visa application, international students have had to demonstrate that they can support themselves completely in their first year.” What status international students have after the first year is not known. Plus, overseas students face the grim reality of so many small businesses closed wiping out casual jobs.

In his media conference on 3 April, PM Scott Morrison said, ” “They’re obviously not held here compulsorily. If they’re not in a position to support themselves, then there is an alternative for them to return to their home countries.”

The PM said it was “lovely to have visitors to Australia in good times”. But now they should “make your way home” and “ensure that you can receive the supports that are available…in your home countries.

“At this time, Australia must focus on its citizens. Our focus and our priority is on supporting Australians and Australian residents with the economic supports that are available.”

The rather grim news is reinforced from a media statement from the office of The Hon Alan Tudge MP, Minister For Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs who says in a media statement emailed on the morning of 4 April 2020:

“All students who come to Australia…have to give a warranty that they are able to support themselves for the first 12 months of their study. That is not an unreasonable expectation of the government, that students would be able to fulfill the commitment that they gave.

International students

There are 565,000 international students in Australia, mainly studying in the higher
education or vocational education sector. They are an important contributor to our tertiary
sector and economy, supporting 240,000 Australian jobs.

Students are encouraged to rely on family support, part-time work where available and their
own savings to sustain themselves in Australia. As part of their visa application,
international students have had to demonstrate that they can support themselves
completely in their first year.

Students who have been here longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial
hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation.

The Government will undertake further engagement with the international education sector
who already provides some financial support for international students facing hardship. For
example, we understand there are some education providers that are providing fee
discounts to international students.

The Government will also be flexible in cases where Coronavirus has prevented
international students meeting their visa conditions (such as not being able to attend classes).

International students are able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight.
International students working in aged care and as nurses have had these hours extended to
support these critical sectors.

International students working in the major supermarkets had also had these hours
extended to help get stock on shelves during the high demand. From 1 May, their hours will
return to the maximum 40 hours a fortnight as more Australians are being recruited into these roles.”

There are at present 2.17 million people on temporary visas in Australia. This includes 8,000 skilled medical professionals, 203,000 international visitors, 565,000 international students, 672,000 New Zealanders on subclass 444 visas, 118,000 on Working Holiday Visas which have work rights and another 185,000 other temporary visa holders.

Australia pledges full force against dodgy education providers

imgres

By SAT News Desk

Melbourne, 18 September: Assistant Minister for Education & Training Senator Simon Birmingham has said there have been serious allegations reported about the registered training organisation (RTO) Phoenix Institute and broker Education Circle and the Department of Education and Training has been asked to investigate.
“I have asked for my Department to consider commencing the processes to remove the Phoenix Institute as a VET FEE-HELP provider,” Senator Birmingham said in a media release.
“I have asked the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to conclude as fast as they reasonably can, their investigations in to this training provider and to consider, as part of those investigations, suspending or revoking their license to operate as a training provider.
“I have also requested that ASQA and the Department consider investigations into any other RTOs using Education Circle as a broker.
“I say to any RTO or broker – if you are offering inducements to enroll, you are breaking the law, and under reforms introduced by this Government, you will be held accountable.
“If a provider is telling people that they “will never earn enough to pay it back”, they are breaking the law, and that provider will be dealt with.
“If providers are signing people up to contracts that are unfair, they will be held accountable, both by my Department, ASQA and potentially also by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, with whom my Department is working closely on a number of investigations into such allegations.
“It is exactly this sort of behaviour– offering inducements, signing up people who have no understanding of what they are signing up for, and no capacity to undertake the course – which I am addressing through the changes to the VET FEE-HELP scheme that I announced earlier this year.
“I encourage anyone with any concerns or evidence to contact the national training complaints hotline on 13 38 73.”
Senator Birmingham made it clear that he was keeping a close eye on the sector and indicated the Government will go further if those who are doing the wrong thing do not clean their act up.
ASQA and the Department of Education & Training will be asked to consider the case for similar actions against any other RTOs doing the wrong thing.
Meanwhile, The Minister for Education & Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, has introduced new legislation to streamline regulation, remove duplicative requirements and cut red tape for Australia’s international education providers.

Mr Pyne said the Education Services for Overseas Students (Streamlining Regulation) Amendment Bill 2015 removes unnecessary reporting from the ESOS Act while protecting the high quality of Australia’s international education sector.

- SAT News Service.

Consultation to improve overseas student’s services

219

By SAT News Desk

Melbourne, 8 July: The government has initiated a consultation process to induce improvements and streamline the international education sector. The Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, has foreshadowed improvements to reduce red tape and strengthen international education.
“The Australian Government has released drafts of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Amendment Bills 2015 for public consultation,” a media release says.
“The proposals in these Bills simplify and streamline the regulation of international education. They follow extensive consultations with stakeholders on ways to improve the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework,” Mr Pyne said.
“This is a significant step in ensuring the legislative framework for international education is contemporary, and that red tape is reduced, so that Australia’s education institutions can focus on their core business and be even more competitive.”
International education is Australia’s fourth largest export industry, earning $17.6 billion last year, and supporting over 130,000 jobs around Australia.
The ESOS framework protects the interests of international students and plays a central role in ensuring Australia’s education institutions provide them with an outstanding student experience.
The proposed improvements to the ESOS framework include:
• reducing complexity in the current Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 by streamlining quality assurance processes
• reducing reporting requirements identified by education institutions as duplicative and costly.
Mr Pyne said that the Government’s mission to cut red tape was clear, but it would be done in partnership with the international education sector and while fully protecting students.
“That’s why we are releasing the Bills and seeking further advice from stakeholders. We are determined to get the policy settings right.
“The proposed changes will maintain the quality of Australia’s international education institutions and make the legislative framework clearer,” Mr Pyne said.
Submissions are open until Friday, 7 August 2015.
For further information, visit https://submissions.education.gov.au/forms/Exposure-drafts-of-Education-Services-for-Overseas-Students-Bills/pages/form

- SAT News Service

Rupee fall to hit Oz.student market

education and employment

By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 1 September: Australia’s $ 15 billion education industry is in for a tumble with the sharp decline in the Indian Rupee. The Indian Rupee which has declined by about 18 % has made many a potential students going overseas (United States, Britain and Australia) to have a second thought. Those who are already there (including Australia) face a hard time making ends meet. The cost of studying abroad (for Indians) has gone up 20 per cent, says the Hindustan Times. On top of it, Australia has one of the most expensive, slow and inflexible visa systems in the world. A combination of this and the declining Indian market Australia will further lose ground to international competitors whose governments place a higher value on international education than Australia does.
Meanwhile, Australia’s peak education bodies said in their second joint statement this year that Australia is losing ground to international competitors whose governments place a higher value on international education than Australia does.
“Expensive and inflexible student visas, a complex and stifling regulatory system and a reluctance by governments to aggressively promote Australian education abroad are combining to turn potential students away from Australia and into the welcoming arms of Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.”
“We have one of the most expensive, slow and inflexible student visa systems in the world, a regulatory regime that shackles our best performing institutions while failing to target support and intervention at those that need it, and a lacklustre approach to promoting our industry overseas,” said Mr Phil Honeywood, Executive Director of the International Education Association of Australia.
“Australia’s education peak bodies call upon the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and other party leaders to make restoring Australia’s competitiveness in international education a priority of the forthcoming Federal Election campaign, he said.

- SAT News Service