“Optionless” OZ Universities give-in; to become visa officers!!!

UNIVERSITIES will put their reputations on the line by signing up to the streamlined visa processing system. The government will monitor the system and publicise any warnings issued or loss of eligibility status.

The Australian’s Higher Education Supplement informed the above through its article on this link

Will they or Will they not has been the question hanging in the air for some weeks now, not just for observers but also for the employed in these Universities.

Is this what they have been set up for? Is it to vet the documents (financials) and check for genuinity and then issue a letter that can lead to fast-tracked and streamlined visa processing. Maybe this is the modern definition of the job of a University…

The dictionary gives the role of a University as:

university |ˌyo͞onəˈvərsətē|

noun ( pl. universities )

an educational institution designed for instruction, examination, or both, of students in many branches of advanced learning, conferring degrees in various faculties, and often embodying colleges and similar institutions: [ in names ] : Oxford University | the University of California | [ as modifier ] : the university buildings | a university professor.

Recently I met with several institutions and wanted to only know as to how they intend to handle this role. The very few who seemed to know or wanted to be seen as one seemingly knowing, mentioned that they will work with their agents to find a way to deliver the requirements. Wow… Finally, the immigration is indirectly telling Universities that there are some good agents and that some agents do good work and that good Universities need to work with these good agents.

I am already gearing up to be able to do my part but the lurking fear is that if I or any of the other agents miss-out knowingly or unknowingly… The Universities will risk moving to a lower Assessment Level. Not fair to the University at all!

Another very interesting prospect: If a lower perceived institution with limited clout is moved down the assessment leval, it will be seen as right but “What if a Group Of Eight institution is moved to AL3?” Firstly, I do not believe that the Immigration will ever take such a step and if it does, they should be prepared for the full streamlining to be reviewed… Some Universities are indeed “Holy Cows” around the world! The other not-so Universities are already dancing to prove their caste by canceling “unconditional offer letters” based on “so called interviews after the student has made payment of fees”, aimed only at demonstrating that they should remain included in all DIAC plans. (I actually wonder if those Universities know the meaning of “unconditional” when they issue the offers of place. Will do a separate blog to show how such institutions are in the wrong already and will encourage the affected students to approach consumer protection bodies and ESOS provisions.). Now back to “streamlining”…

Another question: The customer for the visa office is the student who pays a set application fee. Why should he get a different treatment based on the compliance rate of the University he chooses? Should he not get the treatment based on his or her credentials alone when the visa fee and the process is meant to be the same.

Yes, I may not know all the facts and I may not know what is happening but what I know is the article from The Australian that I quoted above and from which I quote now…

It is understood some universities initially baulked at the increased obligations, but with rival universities keen to sign up to exploit the marketing boost they will get, most are expected to eventually join the system.

And

The Immigration Department will rate each participating university’s risk, based on the performance of its prospective and actual students against their visa obligations. The more students in breach of their visas, or with visas cancelled or refused, the higher a university’s risk weighting will be.

Large numbers of students subsequently applying for residency after their studies will also increase the risk level.

There will be five assessment levels, but to be eligible for streamlined processing, universities must maintain at least an AL1 or AL2 rating, and those down to AL3 will have six months to improve before being thrown out.

I am fine with the fact that roles of institutions can change but can only imagine DIAC laughing with the fact that Universities have given in. Now the Immigration can collect the hefty visa application fee and at the same time get the Universities to do all the job that they were not originally set up for AND which most believe, they will just not manage to undertake.

11 Comments

  1. There are a few things that need to be done to make the education experience of Indian students in Australia worthwhile.
    1) Stop enrolling people in bogus courses such as cookery and hairdressing.
    2) Students enrolling in the above courses have very little grasp of english and usually are not the best behaved people. I can myself find more than 100 reasons to reject visas of such bogus cases. I am sure DIAC can also do that.
    3) The Indian community in Australia needs to learn a thing or two from the Jewish community. Europeans are by and large insular and tribal and not open to changes very easily. If one is an avid student of history they will know what I am talking about.
    4) The constant debates about multiculturalism in Australia prove my above point.
    5) The Indian community needs to have an organization like ADL (anti-defamation league) which will identify race related crimes and through suitable channels put pressure on organizations to make life as miserable for the perpetrators with steps like denial of bank loans, reduction in unemployment benefits etc. Such measures will really hurt the perpetrators a lot and they will think twice before acting silly again.
    6) After having stayed in Australia and the US. I think Australia is still where the US was in the days of Rosa Parks. That country needs a civil rights movement and stronger laws to deal with race related issues.
    7) Indian businesses should start funding election campaigns for politicians. This will help the community immensely for lobbying to implement the hate crime laws.

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    1. The issues that you list are actually less relevant today. Visas to private colleges that run the type of courses listed by you is just not being granted the visa officers do indeed find reasons to refuse them. This is true for last two years now.

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      1. Sir,
        As its the education Australian Industry is in acute recession presently and such ideas of Involving the Universities in Visa Process will further hinder the progress and also result in slow speed & Lower Recruitment ,students may divert o Canada
        & USA ETC !!!

        Must avoid such procedures ,

        INDER PANJWANI

        Like

  2. Ravi,
    No parent, no agent no university and no high commissions can give a guarantee of a students intentions. In the past 14 years I have seen good students and bad students, and what we hear from them at the time of applying for a university is completely different from what they tell after 6 months. So, I think this is another experiment which I think will not work for a long time. Good universities will become scapegoats, while some uni’s which cancel unconditional offers after receiving payment from the students to prove they are holy cows will be laughing behind the back.

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    1. So true… I wonder what the attempt is… Despite all the ammunition in hand of visa officers, they still err and wrong students land up onshore. The Universities are far away and how can they assure on the intentions of the student. My point is that the Universities are not setup for this job. If however they are, I feel I can apply for a job with them since they do not have the manpower that can deliver this new job… an opportunity for some of us.

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      1. And if the uni’s give this job to bad/greedy agents then its like giving evisa to them indirectly at the cost of the uni’s reputation. Even the thought is so scary..

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        1. Good one Venu,

          I don’t think bad/greedy agents can survive on Unis pay-scale.
          I have been seeing same marketing managers approaching from different institutes, changing jobs almost every semester.

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  3. This shows that DIAC is less capable of doing their job and have been putting pressure, previously on Agents and now on Unis.

    They want Agents to do integrity checks, financial checks, intention checks, genuine checks etc.
    They want Unis to do the same now.
    Whose job is that?
    My job as an agent is to provide information about courses and requirements, institutes, cities, accommodation, visa requirements. Also to provide info on possible PR pathways.
    Its not my job to verify if their docs are genuine. But its my job to tell them that they must not provide fake docs and that I must not lodge an application if I know that docs are fake.

    University’s job is to provide information about the course chosen, tutors, course requirements, support provided etc.
    Its not their job to verify if the student is a genuine entrant.
    DIAC must not charge application fees if they are not doing their job.

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    1. Jag, soon we will all have to change with time. The dependence on DIAC and its policies is what controls the game… I remain surprised though that the Universities which around the world has been the institutions controlling all the policies and controlling the direction for a country, have gradually become so option less themselves.

      However, Picture abhi baaki hai dost…

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      1. I agree that we as Agents have a duty to give correct information to student and forward genuine applications to DIAC. We are already changing and submitting to demands of DIAC.
        It is heartening to see UNIs as toothless tigers. May be they were promised a better deal under current arrangements. But soon, private VET sector will start collapsing and Govt. will be held accountable for using a biased and discriminating approach.
        Why can’t we have streamlined arrangements with private colleges?

        I hope the Picture is not as bad as the trailer 😉

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  4. DIAC should now also warn AGENTS as to who to work with and whom to NOT
    As an Education Agent, I would like to have this information.

    They always talk about Dodgy Institute” but again which institute is “Dodgy”. CRICOS is their way to recognise the GOOD and BAD. However when GOOD becomes BAD then CRICOS is taken off and they are suspended. How can some one who has been good all these years suddenly become BAD

    Well a “dodgy institute” according to me is that promotes permanent residency as their key outcome

    Nishi

    Like

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