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Australian institutions look at improving foreign student visa checks

Posted on December 9, 2014
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Foreign students who enroll in visa approved education courses in Australia are facing a clampdown, with one major education provider increasing scrutiny of applicants.

It comes as the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) said it has written to 1,400 students who had left educational institutions but remained in the country.

More than 500 students have been notified the department is considering cancelling their visas, with 103 visas cancelled in the 10 months leading up to the end of October.

Education giant Navitas said it expects enrolment numbers to fall as a result of its determination to stamp out fraud. It has now improved its vetting system for applicants from certain countries such as India and Nepal.

The company said last year it detected a significant enrolment increase from Nepalese and Indian recruiters, which raised a number of red flags. It was evident a number of the enrolments weren’t genuine students.

Figures show that enrolments in the third semester this year rose 6% compared to a 13% rise in the corresponding period last year.

Rod Jones, the company’s chief executive, said Navitas carried out additional checks, which alerted it to cases of fraudulent documentation and higher incidences of student withdrawals.

‘To ensure optimal student outcomes, we have instituted a protocol of more intensive screening assessments in Nepal and India. These have negatively impacted enrolment growth, but we will not compromise on entry standards and risk adversely affecting academic outcomes,’ he explained.

The company recruits 80% of students from Nepal and India through third party agents and has also identified the agents which it considers unreliable.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has notified all higher education providers to be vigilant with their checks.

Although the recent introduction of a streamlined visa process for international students enrolling at accredited providers has been a boon for the industry, there are concerns that the new requirements put the onus for policing the visas on the institutions.

The changes have led to a surge in student visas from India, which recorded a 47.9% rise in the year.

For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit www.y-axis.com

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