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How to improve quality of international student intakes to Australia - 09/09/2019 - By: Satya Shukla

This article is not aimed at any individual or industry professionals or any one else concerned with industry but it’s simply summary of my own experiences, expectations and knowledge which I have gained over the years.

During GTE process, each studnet gets asked about WHY AUSTRALIA?

Many stories goes as, Australia being one of the best country, beautiful country, peace loving country, developed country, educationally and technologically developed country etc etc..

But big question here should be WHY AUSTRALIA SHOULD TAKE YOU ON BOARD, what’s your capabilities which might help future Australia as if I am not wrong and people can disagree with me, more than 85% students will and are trying to stay here at any cost after and during their studies.

So, question is how can we improve quality of intakes coming to Australia:

1- Define proper strategy : We need people in nursing, health sector, engineering, IT, construction, community care sector then have those courses for minimum 4-6 years with 2 years on course placement to make sure graduates from these steams are not only job ready but are ready to able to take on any challenges within industry as they will have solid 2 years of work experience as part of their academic curriculum itself.

2- Have proper caveat for entry into other courses: Not against any educational providers or course etc, but when people want to do courses such as MBA, project management etc then have caveat of 2-3 years prior work experience and English requirement of minimum 7 to get into these courses so that applicant can get real benefits from these courses for career progression. Imagine an MBA applicant with 2 years of industry experience along with proficient English, they can contribute positively for group discussions, assignments and practical case scenarios rather then mute spectators.

3- Adding value to VET courses: VET plays very important role within Australian education sector but truth is this very same sector has been exploited in last 6-10 years for trapping international students in extending their educational journey to 5-6-8 years. So, my view is to have proper categorisation of VET sector for domestic only and international only along with few for domestic n international both once international students are here for 3-5 years and looking for skill enhancement. Example there are huge shortage of plumbers, brick layers, carpenters etc make these international job ready programme with minimum duration of 5 years course including 2 years industry training as part of curriculum itself then most of problems will be solved in this industry as we will have professionals coming out at end of 5 years, rather than students changing courses just for sake of possibilities of future residency and doing courses from institutions who surely lake infrastructure and resources.

4- End of these CoE cancellation, concurrent CoE and poaching of onshore students etc: A Studnet puts in big big thoughts and facts about his chosen study and how it can be best for their future in coming years in GTE at time of visa. But suddenly within months or even weeks of landing down here it changes drastically leading to changes to unrelated field all together??

Concurrent CoE option should only be in PRISM after successful completion of two semesters with original education provider that too with compulsion of passing more than 50% of subjects and minimum 80% attendance.

Cancelled CoE reasons can be unpredictable and depends on various individual variables. But once CoE is cancelled, if student is going for another CoE then it should be mandatory to apply for new Visa with no permissible excuses.

Changing provider after coming to Australia should be only possible after completion of minimum of 50% of course successfully with provider for which Visa has been granted initially, no exceptions.

Most important part and most debatable part: GTE assessment and visa dependency on GTE statments.

Yes agreed with old saying that "somethings is better than nothing"?? But not in case of life critical decisions such as visa grant for Australia? Everyone in the industry will agree with me that 99%, if not 100% GTEs are written by agents or external experts with limited input from students?

Also debatable points can be what answer would you give to same questions as why Australia? Why this course? Why would you go back to your country of origin etc? Case officer would have read same stories more than 100000 times and when in a good mood, it all goes through and when something wrong at home, then even the best of files does get stuck?

There can not be an ideal system due to complexity and volume of visa applications against the staffing and resources at disposal from the Government side. But few things can surely be improved?

Instead of submitting written 6-8-10 page GTE, submit 5-7 mints video from Studnet itself explaining about GTE. This way people can still argue that Studnet would be feed in all lines but atelast he would know what he is talking about? This great idea has come from Shibani Jagdev from MACLEAY College and I totally believe in this as it will eliminate big question of student not knowing what they are doing as they will be the one who will be answering all points and queries.

Few other things can be:

Mandatory one year fee payment which will give new students much more time to settle down in new country.

Developing student support network at each Australian international airport with compulsory 1-2 hours seminars for every international students before they start their educational journey.

This article is just an attempt to look into various issues being faced within our industry. This is no way an attempt to raise fingers at anyone or to say who is right or who is wrong. Every individual and every businesses got right to decide about their own act and business practices, something which can be right for one might be wrong for others and vice a versa.International students coming to Australia to study and get future permanent residnecy prospect for Australia needs to be aware of their study options within Australia and how study options works in Australia.

There is no doubt that Student visa options for Australia should not be exploited or hooked in with residency options for Australia under any circumstances but clear policies and clear future pathway can and will eliminate various unethical and unfair practices within and outside education industry for Australia.

Thank you

Satya Shukla

Aussie Education and Migration





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