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Australia Making Visas More Attractive for International Students

The Australian government has announced a “broader, simpler, fairer” visa framework for international students. A move calculated to benefit all parties involved.
BY Skendha Singh |   26-06-2015
Australia is making student visas simpler.The new Simplified International Student Visa Framework (SSVF) will replace the existing Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) arrangements from next year, i.e; 2016.

In practical terms, this means that the financial and English language requirements for students will now be based on just two criteria instead of the current eight -

  • the immigration profile of the student’s home country;
  • the immigration risk of the education provider.

The change is strategic. Already, education in Australia has seen steady growth since the decline of 2009-10. It is now the largest service sector in Australia, generating 16 billion dollars annually. Overall, it ranks only behind Iron ore and Coal, which are the Australian economy’s traditional strongholds.

According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), there are more than 400,000 international students in Australia. The number has increased approximately 11.2% from last year. Half of the international student population is enrolled in higher education courses, an increase of 9% from last year. Vocational education has seen an increase of 15%.

Australian education has seen a boost not only in terms of student quantity but also institutional quality. In the latest Times Higher Education Top 100 under 50 list, 16 Australian institutions scored a place – the most of any country.

The SSVF is designed to clear the stage for big and small players. This means VET institutions, which attract a large number of students from countries like India and China. While Australian institutions have already a sizeable presence in traditional markets like Southeast Asia, the visa changes are likely to act as a big draw for emerging markets like the Middle East and Latin America.

According to THE, international students account for up to 20 percent of the income at higher education institutions in Australia, so while the practical benefits of the changes remain to be seen, the move makes plenty of business sense.

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