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:
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.
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.