I am not suggesting that non-University degrees should not have got PSW benefits. I have always asked for Australia sticking to the AQF for all provisions. My concern stems from what I blogged in my last despatch. Australia “craftily” changed the Knight recommendation on PSW and is possibly asking even Masters students to have studied “in Australia” for a “minimum of two academic years”. Now with the current exchange rate of Australian dollar, it is going to be such a huge task to put together funding for “top Universities” and for “2 years Masters”. Most Australian Masters are for 1 and 1.5 years and if PSW was offered to them “as was recommended”, it would have benefited all parties. I fear that now that non-Universities are also going to get PSW benefits, students will have no option but to prefer degrees run in the private sector as clearly the private sector has the cost advantage… I feel that this was never intended by Knight… Something is going wrong with the visa reforms. I would preferred that all offering degree and above to get PSW but would also want that “all Masters degree students irrespective of the duration” to get PSW benefits too… This would have been win-win for all.
SENATOR CHRIS EVANS
MINISTER FOR TERTIARY EDUCATION, SKILLS, JOBS AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS
CHRIS BOWEN MP
MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
30 November 2011
GOVERNMENT EXTENDS SUPPORT FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, and the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today announced more international students will be eligible for an extension of post-study work arrangements as part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to support the international education sector.
The Government recently announced post-study work arrangements for university graduates in response to the Knight Review of the Student Visa program.
“We are pleased to be extending post-study work arrangements to Bachelor or higher degree graduates from other education providers accredited to offer degree level programs, in addition to university graduates,” Mr Bowen said.
“Graduates who complete their degrees after at least two academic years’ study in Australia will be able to access post-study work arrangements from 2013, in time for students who are applying for their Student Visas now.”
Currently, more than 80 per cent of international students enrolled at the Bachelor degree level or above are eligible for the existing temporary skilled graduate visa, which provides an 18-month stay in Australia with work rights.
“These changes bring Australia into line with arrangements in other countries and enable education providers to offer a more competitive package to international students who are seeking good quality and long-term study in Australia, regardless of their field of interest,” Senator Evans said.
“The new arrangements extend the stay period to two years, while Masters by research or PhD students will be eligible for stays of three and four years respectively, reflecting the importance of the role of research in fostering innovation in the Australian economy.”
For students who obtain qualifications other than a Bachelor degree or above, the existing temporary skilled graduate visa, which provides for a stay of 18 months for those with qualifications in eligible fields of study, will still be available.
Information on the Knight Review can be found at: http://www.immi.gov.au/students/knight/