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The Australian government on October 2 stated that it is going to take strict measures to combat international student visa scams, reported IANS.

Education Minister Jason Clare, Skills Minister Brendan O’Connor, and Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil jointly stated their intention to address the exploitation of Australia’s visa system following a government-conducted rapid review reported Xinhua news agency. 

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The Australian government will strengthen regulations to prevent the widespread rotting of the system they said, following a government-commissioned rapid review report detailing the exploitation of Australia’s visa system. O’Neil said, “The party is over, the rorts and loopholes that have plagued this system will be shut down.”

These amendments to the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 will bolster the fit and proper provider test which will subsequently elevate the standards required for registration. This will alongside curb cross-ownership between education providers and agents. Their crackdown includes banning private colleges from paying commissions to education agents for enticing international students away from rival institutions. This move aims to prevent students from being lured away from high-quality universities to lower-fee courses. 

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Australian government also plans to monitor international student attendance to stop migrants from using student visas purely for the purpose of working in Australia. The number of student visa holders in Australia reached a record high of 660,765 by the end of June, an increase of 203,000 from the beginning of 2023, according to the Australian Financial Review. 

Data from the Department of Education in September revealed that international education contributed A$26.6 billion ($17 billion) to Australia’s economy in 2022, making it the country’s fourth-largest export that was behind coal, iron ore, and natural gas.

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Updated: 03 Oct 2023, 03:09 PM IST


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