Australia Plans Massive Changes to Student Visa System
Looking to regain ground that it has lost over the past two years, the government of Australia has announced plans to make dramatic changes to its student visa system to make it easier and more desirable for international students to come to Australia. The changes include adding a post-education work visa, reducing the amount of finances a student has to prove prior to admission, and putting all higher education applicants into a low-risk pool, regardless of country of origin. The visa system for vocational education will not change.
International education is Australia's third-largest export, behind iron ore and coal, but the number of international students has fallen dramatically over the past two years. Media attention to a number of physical attacks on Indian and other students in Australia, increased competition for students and an often difficult visa process have been pinpointed as factors in the decline of international student visas.
“Our international education sector is world-class, and the reforms announced today will help entrench Australia as a preferred destination for international students,” Senator Christopher Evans, the minister for tertiary education, skills, jobs and workplace relations, said in a statement in Canberra on Sept. 22.
Read the full story in the New York Times.