Damn: The Aussies are borrowing a page from our Village Idiot's coloring book  

sexyblondetravel 60F
1 posts
5/20/2006 7:38 pm
Damn: The Aussies are borrowing a page from our Village Idiot's coloring book


ougher rules for student residency

Bernard Lane

May 10, 2006

WOULD-BE overseas students whose main motive is migration to Australia would have to think twice before enrolling if radical reform to skilled migration rules goes ahead.

"[The proposed reform is] fairly radical because it means that for most students currently in Australia, they will have to do an extra year [before applying for permanent residency] and even then they're not guaranteed to get PR," Bob Birrell, author of a report for the federal Government, said yesterday.

Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone and Education Minister Julie Bishop reacted by saying the Government would demand higher English standards and work experience from former overseas students seeking to stay as skilled migrants.

"If PR's your main objective, you'd have to think twice [about enrolling if our reforms are fully implemented]," Dr Birrell said. Immigration experts Lesleyanne Hawthorne and Sue Richardson also wrote the report.

Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee president Gerard Sutton welcomed the Government's announcement, saying bonus points for students with English above the base level would serve as an incentive for those seeking a skilled migration visa.

IDP Australia's chief executive Tony Pollock said the changes should not hurt enrolments providing they were properly explained in overseas markets.

"It may be seen as putting an additional hurdle because students will be required to take that extra year," he said. But Mr Pollock said universities could sell the changes as a positive: Australia was making it clear to would-be student migrants what was expected of them and how they would be helped to attain it.

The Government has yet to detail transitional arrangements or commit to some key recommendations, including that former students not be allowed bonus points for professions in demand, such as accounting, unless they have work experience.

Dr Birrell questioned whether enough work experience positions would be available for graduates facing a tougher test for PR. "It's hard to imagine we're going to have thousands of work experience positions given that employers are becoming somewhat wary about former students," he said.

He said there had been rapid growth in the number of former overseas students securing permanent residency. In 2001-02, the figure was 5284 compared with 12,978 in 2004-05.

This had outstripped the number of would-be skilled migrants applying offshore.

"The main factor driving the growth in overseas student enrolments is people aiming for PR," he said. Chinese and students from the Indian subcontinent dominated; the key disciplines were accounting and information technology.

Presently, these students could win permanent residency with basic English and no work experience relevant to their discipline.

"Many of these students are struggling to gain positions equivalent to their credentials," Dr Birrell said.

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..........Oh well.

SBT

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