When I warn Institutions on the SVP abuse, am I an “alarmist” or a “whistleblower”?

It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep may be. (Virgil)

Australian Streamline Visa Processing is one of the innovations seen in this area in recent years. I believe that it is the right step and has the potential of helping the country gain-back the students. Most of the institutions are attempting to do the right things. However, there are definitely loop holes and not all providers and/or their agents are vigilant enough. There is a need to keep ensuring that the the minority doesn’t derail the good system. There is also a need to embrace the possible improvements and implement them in our processes.

This week “The Australian” has carried out my perspectives on the loopholes and the concerns with related to SVP. In an email to the institutions recently I did share the precautions that can be taken and now it is up-to them to take it further.

Some of my colleagues in the trade have suggested that I go a little soft and avoid being an “alarmist” and should just remain mum and enjoy the business growth. They say that by talking more on the loopholes, I will bring about more checks and unnecessarily and since majority of the members have no qualms, lets live on.

alarmist |əˈlärmist|noun

someone who is considered to be exaggerating a danger and so causing needless worry or panic.

The others believe that I have been a “whistleblower” and have appreciated the fact that I have said what I had to in the interest of the industry. We have seen the good work of many of us tarnished in last few years simply due to short-cuts and abuse on the part of a few. This led to a downturn that drove many institutions and their agents out of the market altogether. It is not correct that only the bad suffer when things go wrong…

whistle-blower |ˈ(h)wɪsəl ˌbloʊ(ə)r|noun

a person who informs on someone engaged in an illicit activity.

Well, my purpose is only as an active member of the trade, I want to ensure that this time the loopholes are plugged before they are exploited and that all those with right intentions gain at the end. What has been stated for India applies to rest of the South Asian region.

The article on 22nd May had my comments primarily as President of AAERI and the comments that appeared today (24th May) gives precise concerns that I carry and more as an education agent working with ALL Australian Universities. am sharing the article of this day here… since many of the readers of this blog are linked to the well-being of the industry in some way or the other…

System needs ‘corrections’: agent | Story & Education Stories | The Australian 24052013

System needs 'corrections': agent | Story & Education Stories | The Australian 24052013 copy

I may be “alarmist” for some and “whistleblower” for the others. This is fine with me as long as my purpose of ensuring preventive measures is met. I am also interested in “quality and genuine” student numbers increasing but am also wishing that Australia re-invents itself as a destination for such students and a “pull” is created.

6 Comments

  1. Ravi, I agree with you 100%. We have also been talking to our partner universities on the same. As an agency, we have adopted best practice, whereby we want to see financial documents to ensure that the student complies with both GTE and financial ability.

    So many universities are asking direct applicants to sign a declaration stating that they have the financial means to support themselves while in Australia. What is the true meaning and legal standing of such a declaration? Students and parents alike will sign it, as they see this as an easy option out to get a visa to go to Australia. After 6 months, they change providers to smaller private colleges.

    Australia has gone from one extreme to another in the student visa assessment process. I have spoken to DIAC about concerns that we have, and their feedback is that the new system will sort out the institutions and students in the medium term.

    What about all the harm that students who end up being non-compliant in Australia will have to the industry? It will have long term repercussions for the industry. If there is a change of government in September, there may be changes to the visa requirements (will take time), but such changes will take into consideration non-compliance, over stay, etc.

    I have witnessed documentation from smaller agents clearly telling students that they do not need to show financial evidence. Who is a student going to go to for assistance – of course the easier option.

    Let’s hope that the universities do wake up, and start to rely on larger agents more, and put the onus on these agents to ensure that they are doing all the necessary GTE and financial checks.

    Like

    1. Mehul, things will sort out on their own and now that institutions are going to be even more careful, our purpose is met. I do hope that the system is not abused as we have seen a terrible downturn for last few years.

      Like

  2. If a student have permanent residency in UK is it good destination for undergraduate Engineering degrees?

    Like

  3. Institutes want numbers and agents too want numbers. It’s a fact that getting a student visa to Australia is easier now under the SVP system, institutes failed to identify the correct financials and they don’t understand the nexus between the dodgy banks managers, fake document makers and agencies. The best agencies for institutes are the agents which give them numbers somehow.

    I also see it all in a different way, institutes focus on providing a rigorous academic program, continuing academic involvement, and varied extracurricular activities with leadership opportunities, how can one get them to act as detectives to deduct fraud in admissions or visas

    You are NOT an “alarmist” or a “whistleblower”, I think everyone in the industry knows what’s going on….. But don’t want to talk about it for some nor the other reason and you took the first step….. Good on you

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s