Efforts Are On To Attract Young, Skilled Youngsters
Australia has a number of government-instituted initiatives that may be of interest to any student considering study abroad, says Raquel Shroff, manager, International Development Program (IDP), a non-profit company owned by 38 of the 39 universities in Australia.
Our government has made an effort to attract young, skilled students. Indian students fit that profile, and there are over 20,000 Indian students in Australia at any one time. As a result, programs have been created which hopefully will attract more students from India and help those who are there.
Indian students can now apply for their student visas using a new online process.
Students can take in all of their application documents to one of 19 registered offices in India, where officials will send the application to Australian authorities online.
This saves up to five weeks of processing time, and over Rs. 1,000 for the paper-based application.
The purpose of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act is to protect the interests of people coming to Australia on student visas. It requires institutions that provide education that meets nationally consistent standards in education delivery, facilities and services.
It ensures consistency with the standard of education delivered to Australian students.
According to Shroff: Australia is the only country with a government act to protect international students.
It provides quality assurance, transparency, and tuition and financial assurance, she says.
For example, under the act, if a student enrols in a course, and the university is unable to conduct that course, the university must transfer the student to another similar course, or transfer the student to another university offering the course, or refund the fees.
The Act ensures a nationally consistent approach to provider registration and enables the Australian Government to monitor education providers. Breaches of the Act are treated very seriously and the penalties can be significant.
Institutions must be registered with the Australian Government with Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and meet special registration conditions enabling them to deliver courses to international students in Australia.
Both public and private institutions must meet high standards of quality and ethical practice, which take into account such issues as curriculum, qualifications of teaching staff, and facilities including specialist equipment.
Every provider that seeks to recruit, enrol or teach overseas students, or to advertise their ability to do so, must be registered on the CRICOS list.
It lists all providers registered to offer courses to people studying in Australia on student visas and the courses offered.
To Shroff, this ensures that all universities trying to recruit overseas students are genuine and will offer a high standard of service. Other countries have no such rules.
i E-Visa: save time and money
ii ESOS Act: Protects rights of overseas students
iii CRICOS: Registry of courses and varsities