“Australia warns international students switching to vocational courses for uncapped work rights”
Date: March 28, 2023
The Australian agent association, AAERI, has warned that international students are arriving in Australia on university courses and then switching to vocational or private colleges to benefit from the country’s uncapped work rights. Onshore migration agents in Australia have enabled the practice of switching, which has raised concerns about student retention for universities.
Australia lifted a 40-hour fortnightly work limit for international students in January last year, and since then, concerns have been raised that the policy has led to a rise in non-genuine student visa applications.
Navitas and other organizations have cautioned about the misuse of the policy by “unscrupulous providers and agents.” Additionally, certain private for-profit institutions have been accused of enabling student exploitation by charging low fees and disregarding student non-attendance in classes.
President of AAERI, Ravi Lochan Singh, said that the practice of switching courses has resulted in retention concerns for universities, and offshore education agents have been denied their commissions. Universities Australia deputy chief executive Peter Chesworth said that students decide to change their study arrangements for many reasons, including meeting their career interests or due to personal circumstances.
There is currently no data available to illustrate the extent to which university students are switching to vocational pathways. Last year, the Australian government declared its plan to reimpose a limit on the working hours allowed for international students. Effective from July 1, 2023, student visa holders will be subject to work restrictions once again, with the cap set at 48 hours per fortnight, an increase from previous limits.
Stakeholders have warned of system abuses ahead of the July 1 date for the reintroduction of the cap. Lochan Singh stated that there needs to be a cap on the number of part-time work during the study semester. According to Phil Honeywood, the executive director of the International Education Association of Australia, there is a need for regulation of education agents, which may involve imposing penalties for false advertising and exploitation of Australia’s student visa system.
The Australian agent association, AAERI, has warned that the practice of international students switching to vocational or private colleges to benefit from the country’s uncapped work rights has resulted in retention concerns for universities. With work restrictions for student visa holders to be reintroduced from July 1, 2023, stakeholders have warned of system abuses ahead of the reintroduction of the cap. Education agents need to be regulated to prevent false advertising and abuses of Australia’s student visa system.
Reference from: The PIE News
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