Changes in Australian student visas
Are you planning to study a degree down under? Then it might interest you to know the Australian government has recently introduced some changes to the current Australian immigration system in an attempt to ease the requirements that international students have to meet to study in Australia.
The reforms have been announced based on a report by former politician and Sydney 2000 Olympics organiser, Michael Knight, who suggests that the education industry -one of Australia's largest export industries-, should be reformed in order to compete with North American educational market and open doors for talented overseas students.
Under present rules, a student from supposedly high-risk countries such as China would have to show $75,000-plus in the bank to obtain a visa. These onerous financial requirements have been bitterly criticised as a set-back for many international students to pursue education abroad.
From mid 2012, foreign students seeking a visa for university study will face no financial requirement (such as a set amount of money in a bank account) to prove they can cover fees and living costs. Instead, as with students from developed countries such as the US, they will be able to simply declare they have the means to pay tuition and living costs to support themselves.
Living expenses in Australia are estimated at AU$18,000 a year. If you want to assess the visa requirements you will need to fulfil (according to your nationality and course of study), visit the student visa section on the Australian government's site.
Immigration minister Chris Bowen, has said that the responsibility for international students will rest with the universities and that they will have to check their entry requirements before they would get access to the streamlined visa arrangements.
"Universities have a responsibility to ensure the welfare of all their students, including by recruiting students that will have the capacity to support themselves while studying in Australia," a spokesman for Mr Bowen said.
Additionally, foreign students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree (undergraduate) can win the right to work for two years, including in fields unrelated to their qualification. According to Knight’s report if graduates want to stay for good in Australia, they still have to satisfy stricter rules for skilled migration, which are much less generous to on-shore foreign students with low-value skills.
International Student Barometer reported in 2010 that 86% of all international students surveyed were satisfied with their educational experience. Find out more about this report following the link.
To find out more about the student lifestyle in Australia and how to make the most of your budget, read our article by following the link.
Click on the link to check our list of courses offered by Australian universities.
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