Lobbying works… Oz allows PSW to non-Uni degrees. Now with 2 years requirement, low-cost private providers will benefit over real Universities… NOT what Knight wanted!

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

MEDIA RELEASE

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/

17 Comments

  1. Hey Ravi,
    If this happens we will be where we had been slowly and steadily ofcourse not to start with……..the reforms and their addendum are bringing about the same feeling as what has been in the indian stock market…..i hope unlike indian investors who are sitting away rather than actively buying the student or should i say the prospective student also does not sit aback either waiting for things to be clear or would look at alternatives…..

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  2. Thanks Ravi. Kaplan will benefit from this with the two year Masters of Accounting and the BBus (Accounting). Thanks for the info.

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  3. Ravi, what amazes me is how they could prescribe two years for a Masters to be eligible for a PSW without a sound rationale except off-course the $$. A number of universities here have internationally accredited 1 and 1.5 years Masters program. This measure not only undermines the whole concept of ‘volume of learning’ instead of duration of learning which is apparently going to be the push from TEQSA next year but also rejects accrediting agencies such as AACSB and EQUIS which have accredited 1 and 1.5 year programs!

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    1. Dipu, as I explained in my blog of last week, it is a huge opportunity that Australia is going to lose out on. All over the world Masters is shrinking to 1 or 1.5 years. In today’s marketplace, UK was in decline over the PSW being suspended and this would give Australia a boost. I fail to understand as to why the Knight recommendations which specifically did not mention any timeframe for Masters while still mentioning one for Bachelors, has been craftily modified. I put out a poser: What about those who do 1 year outside and take RPL or twinning into Australia and what about the degrees at Universities that run trimester like my alma mater Bond Uni… At Bond the degrees are run in intensive mode and even a 2 year Masters only takes 1 year and 4 months… Australia needs to engage real time experts and not mere academics… to frame its policies. We are now going to have a situation that once again the franchised campuses will be more attractive than the real Universities just because it will be difficult to put together resources for 2 years Masters at real Universities…

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  4. Hi Ravi,

    In this context what is the meaning of accreditation ? eCoe to be issued by the franchised operation or eCoe to be issued by the University for degree related courses.

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  5. My prediction was right. Lobby the government and you will come out with a policy which you want. So far Navithas was driving the show and now all private providers have lobbied to get their degree program approved for PSW.
    Where is Mr Knight on this matter!
    Government will increase the visa fee for visitors visa very soon to bring the budget to surplus next year…..
    Good day mate! Welcome to Lost Australia and have a nice day

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    1. I agree with you… I have feeling that it is indeed a case of “lost” direction. The implementations in “installments” also is an issue… I really wonder where the so called “experts” are hiding…

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  6. Think the government is learning not just about international education and unintended consequences of any changes (but how susceptible they are to lobbying from Navitas/Seek while remainder of industry, in state sector especially, said nothing). Further, government is probabaly used to developing policy, but then using top down policy to regulate at the “coalface” is asking for trouble….

    Personally I would prefer to see AQF as basis, not new sub categories of visa and conditions depending upon whether an institution is private or public (university) where government policy is about supporting the latter…..

    Neither private nor public have a monopoly on quality, and ironically in CentralEastern Europe and Turkey now more interest in VET/TAFE due to much lower fees…..seemingly what the government (and unions) were wanting to stop……

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  7. Lobbying does work and fully agree. It’s the only way to get things done and open the eyes of policy makers. Still more hurdles in the path which needs to be addressed

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    1. News today:

      Dear all

      I am writing to inform you of some recent updates to the Australian Government response to the Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program conducted by the Hon Michael Knight AO (the Knight Review).

      As you may be aware, the Government announced on 22 September 2011 its response to the Knight Review. One of the recommendations agreed to by Government was the introduction of new post-study work arrangements for Australian university graduates who have obtained a Bachelor degree, Masters by coursework degree, Masters by research degree or PhD. Yesterday the Government announced plans to extend eligibility of the post-study work visa. In addition to university graduates, the new post-study work arrangements are to be extended to Bachelor, Masters by coursework, Masters by research and PhD degree graduates from other education providers accredited to offer degree level programs in Australia. See: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/cb/2011/cb180779.htm

      More information on the Knight Review changes, including a copy of the full report, is available from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website at: http://www.immi.gov.au/students/knight/

      Yours sincerely

      Paula Williams Assistant Secretary Education and Tourism Branch Department of Immigration and Citizenship

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  8. Hi,
    I have also made visa application to study 1.5 year Master course starting on Feb 2012 on October 11, 2011 through Global Reach as an agent and yet to hear its outcome. I wish I could get timely suggestion to apply after Nov 05, 2011. So as per the new arrangements, I dont think I am eligible for PSW ( now 2 years study condition for it) as my application has not been assessed against GTE.

    I want to know whether I would be eligible for PSW ( in the ground that I will complete my course on July 2013) or need to go with Temporary resident option of 18 months?

    Thank you.

    Prem

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    1. Prem, PSW is still a “developing story” with “twists” on regular basis. I would advise that if your visa has not been approved yet, you can still withdraw and relodge the file. This will ensure that you would have “obtained” the visa with GTE. 1.5 years of program is not a concern as you can always do a double major or another program there onshore with the same institution or another and this will lead to 2 years of study. Quite a common thing.

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      1. Thank you Ravi much for your information. I wish I could reapply under GTE but I think now i should carry on with my previous application as just yesterday I underwent medical test as advised by the agent.

        My concern is shall I be able to apply for TR option in the case I could not apply for PSW? Also if I or my spouse do another new 2 years degree following my completion of study, will we be eligible for PSW after completion of our new study?

        Thanks for understanding my concern.

        Prem.

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