Immigration changes ‘another blow’ to international student market

Widespread changes to the skilled migration program announced by immigration minister Chris Evans yesterday could do further damage to Australia’s international student industry, according to some commentators.  

The government’s long-awaited overhaul gives priority to skilled migrants with a job offer from an Australian employer and better English language skills. There are also streamlined eligibility criteria for jobs and study from July 2010.

Around 20,000 applications lodged before September 2007 will be dumped and applicants refunded at an estimated cost of A$14 million.

Evans said the changes would mean “Australia is able to choose who migrates to this country, based on whether they are going to make a contribution. If they don’t have the English language skills, don’t have the trade skills and can’t get a job, then really, they shouldn’t be eligible for permanent residency.”

He described as “perverse” the current points system which rates a hospitality or hairdressing graduate from an Australian college above a Rhodes scholar. Under the old system, 580,000 foreign students undertook study in Australia last year, a 95 per cent increase over five years.

However, some private colleges warned the changes could see student numbers decline by half. A spokesman for a haidressing college in Sydney told the Sydney Morning Herald: “There’s going to be a catastrophic effect on the employment of Australian workers.”

The decision to dump 20,000 visa applications also received widespread coverage in the Indian media, with suggestions it would add to ill feeling already simmering after a spate of attacks on Indian students in Australia.

The news comes a week after the collapse of English language school GEOS left thousands of students stranded and creditors owed more than $10 million.

For a full explanation of the changes, click here.

0 thoughts on “Immigration changes ‘another blow’ to international student market

  • February 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm
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    Well done the govt I say.

    Cooks and Hairdressers have been on the Migration Occupations in Demand List for years, the visa factories have been pumping out graduates of Cooking and Hairdressing who in turn get permanent residency. And guess what, there’s still a shortage of Cooks and Hairdressers as once they get PR they can do as they please, and they aren’t cutting hair or whipping up souffles.

    Some of these schools had it coming. It was a cleanout they had to have.

    Reply
  • February 10, 2010 at 9:36 am
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    While I do agree with Greg. The real problem facing the International Education industry is the inability to think and plan strategically for the future of the industry that is Australia’s third largest export earner at $17 billion and employing more than 100,000.

    International education is more than just an economic driver. It brings untold benefits to our diplomatic and trade relations which engages Australian students, staff and communities in international activity.

    Many of the problems were created by the students own country men, here and in their home land

    Reply
  • February 17, 2010 at 9:27 pm
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    We didn’t mind taking their money for this training though, did we? Refund that!

    Reply
  • February 19, 2010 at 8:38 pm
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    This is a another racist action by kevin rudd and cris evans agains Brown colour Indians
    I think they dont want to get people with black and brown skin in to Australia

    But they should remember this country belongs to Aboroginese like me Other all peoples are migrants. Racism go to hell . we all got same blood colour Have’nt we?

    Reply
  • March 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm
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    I agree with Veronica. As a student mid-way through her course I’d like to know now whether I’m likely to be shown the door before I commit another $6000 in fees for my next semster. My guess is that the government will dangle PR in front of me until I have forked out the money and then tell me I can’t stay.

    Reply
  • March 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm
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    Well, I do feel sorry for those foreign student who has study hard and comply with their visa. Unfortunately, there are many overseas student have abuse the visa by working more than permitted hours, use money to obtain fake attendance record, broadcast their intention to get PR through “marriage for convience” (goto ozchinese website or some chinese newspaper, you can see monetary exchange or reward given for intended parties), forgeing/stealing other people identities.

    I am not being racist, just want to point out that it takes only one rotten apple to spoil the wole basket of apple.

    Maybe to be fair to all overseas student, the government should set a time frame for certain course such as English Language School whereby the student has to pass their IELT within certian period before granting further visa rather than seeing their attendance record.

    Reply
  • May 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm
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    You take money from international students saying that they can apply for PR after studies but when they finish their studies and paid u thousand of dollars u say sorry we change the immigration rules.International students will take this issue to Human rights and Australain GOvt has to answer them because that is very unfair.

    Reply
  • June 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm
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    The goverment is so stupid. Australia is using education program as exporting and making money. those actions will make a lot of teachers losing their job. The international student come here due to the convinience for PR but not for higher education quality. Compare with America, Europe, The education quality is better there.

    The only result of this will give rise more unemployment and less enrollment. And with this, the local citizen will not get any benefits.

    Reply
  • June 5, 2010 at 12:14 pm
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    A loophole closes and a lot of angry mouths open. Shut the bastards down. Every last one of those visa factories masquerading as a reputable school. Every student that signed up did so knowing full well what they were getting into. They found an easy way into this country and they’re as guilty as the schools. So stop protesting and looking for sympathy for your losses

    Reply
  • June 7, 2010 at 12:18 am
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    Greg Cole is a very lucky man. He was probably born Australian, the migrants that this legislation concern have had to earn their right to live here, the truth is this matter does not concern him or his bigot mates. FACTS: students and graduates pay tax, have no right to claim any assistance, pay school fees to send their children to public schools and have to have private medical cover. The fact is before leaving England in 2006 cooks were on the in need register, this is the Australian governments fault not the good people who came here in good faith looking to fill the jobs lazy Aussies wouldn’t do.

    Reply
  • June 9, 2010 at 10:44 am
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    Australia in my opinion is one of the easiest countries to gain PR whether this is through a student Visa or others, the fact that our government has decided to streamline this a little is does not mean we are rascist or bigots. Gaining PR in most other countries is near impossible. I have a friend who is married to an American citizen and a year after their marriage he is still waiting on his Visa approval! While i do feel for the students who are caught up in this i think we just need to gain a little perspective.
    Mike-
    “FACTS: students and graduates pay tax, have no right to claim any assistance, pay school fees to send their children to public schools and have to have private medical cover.”
    You make this sound like these students are doing something special, i believe this is called contributing to society. I myself as an Australian pay tax, went to public school where my mother paid school fees, and have private health cover.

    Reply
  • June 9, 2010 at 10:59 am
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    The last ten years will be remembered as the decade when Australia opened its doors to the sub continent and we’re a better country for it. So the rules of the game changed. It happens.

    Reply
  • June 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm
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    @Mike I, I hardly think calling for the closure of businesses that caused a lot of pain and loss for students is being a bigot. If as a result of that you think I’m a bigot then its back to school for you. Yes, the govt screwed up, but do you really think the rivers of gold that flowed into the dodgy schools would go on forever? No, it came to a painful and abrupt end and our industry is going to – in the long run – be better for it. And the signs of that are already happening in terms of product quality.

    Reply
  • June 9, 2010 at 8:24 pm
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    Brett, are you still doing the Femme Fatale dress-up anonymous thing at night as Bonsoir Eldershah?

    Reply
  • June 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm
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    I was thinking of an act called ‘The Backpacker Discount Darling” where I pretend to be something better than I am and when I undress the ugly truth is revealed and you can have it all for next to nothing. BUT NO REFUNDS, OK.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2010 at 5:30 am
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    Look folks the policy should be in some sequence……..
    For example:
    If I am announcing some policy in 2010, I should state that applicants who will apply in 2010 will be subjected to this change.
    I think it should not be like those who for students who came to Australia before 2010.

    It’s like you have got your wife pregnant and when the baby is about to born in the 12 month or what ever month it is, you suddenly change your plans in your career graph and say I don’t want this baby now.
    But u can make different plans for the children to come.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2010 at 2:53 pm
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    To all the concerned foreign students who have been doing the right thing by Australia, I understand your anger. You have my sympathy, you really do.It`s hard when you`ve made plans and unforeseeable events change the whole future.

    But, hey, that`s life, folks. Even in a democracy such as Australia, our governments can pass legislation that spells the end of an industry, a pastime, even a time-honoured, formally socially acceptable, habit.

    Whether you were a whaler, a mountain cattle man or a smoker, this was your new reality. Your rights meant nothing. It was time to build a bridge and get over it or go howl at the moon.

    As a tourism operator, I know thousands of backpackers are unable to find work in my state of Queensland due to students working full time, in breach of their allowed hours. The students then send this money home, rather than spending it around Australia and in the wider community, as a backpacker would.

    This issue isn`t about racism,it`s about protecting our industry from those who break the rules.

    Adapt and accept or continue howling.

    Reply
  • September 3, 2010 at 10:57 pm
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    Australia, gains a lot from the money the students pay by way of tuition whether they earn it in Australia or not. So a bulk of their money IS SPENT in AUSTRALIA. They also are creative and add vast amounts to the research and creative talent, finally they fill the breach of doing menial jobs that normal Aussies don’t do because they rather stay at home and claim government assistance. Take these students off a lot of these business that directly or indirectly rely on them will close, then what??? But finally all other countries are opening up their immigration system for international students such as Ireland, UK and Canada, this show that Australia is taking a step firmly into an economic abyss in the new global economy that is resurfacing from recession.

    Reply
  • September 14, 2010 at 9:01 am
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    I come here to study as agents told us that firstly you will study and then you will get work in your field because there are a lot of work in this field ,after finishing your course you will get PR and you can stay their and you can make your future bright.I thought that if I will study and I will get job in same field then it is really a very good opportunity and then I can be independent and can earn money and will live really good life.
    Then I thought to come here but I did not have a lot of money to spent then I sold my property and home to pay my fee, tickets and other expensives.
    I studied here for 3 years because I did not get my placements on time.IWhen I came here,did not have accommodation to live here ,I lived with my friend .I did not know this life before that i have to live like this.I spent my three years by working only 20 hours a week and spent on my expensive and fee.But now when I finished my study and want to work here then their are a lot of requirements that not any agency want to sponsor me because of requirments and tuff rules.

    I am looking for job in same field.I cant go back because I dont have any thing there.I cant pay a lot of money to take test of IELTS because I dont have enough money.From One year I am Trying for job and every maager in the agency tells me we cann’t contract with you of $47000 and for the job because we are not getting this much income however we are managers of the Agency.

    Dont you think that I spent my 3 to 4 years struggling with my bad situations and less money ,As I did not know that poeple will not like me to come here.

    I was studing and earning money for only my fee ,my fee was 25000.I worked 20 hours and nobody can work more then that because immigration keeps all the record of students.

    Reply
  • October 30, 2010 at 4:49 am
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    Can anybody tell me tht is it possible to get PR after completing my 1 year degree program,and is it possible to bare my tuition fees by doing job.please tell me the exact answer.

    Reply

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