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August 27, 2023

Tightening of student visa requirements

Originally designed to enhance job readiness, the “concurrent study” rule allowed international students in Australia to take additional courses alongside their main studies. Unfortunately, recent investigations have uncovered misuse of this rule, as some students were using it to switch to cheaper courses, leaving their primary university programs behind.

The use of concurrent study has risen significantly, with 17,000 concurrent enrollments reported in the first half of 2023. This is a stark contrast to the combined 10,500 enrollments during the same period in 2019 and 2022.

To tackle this problem, Education Minister Jason Clare has announced a change aimed at preventing what he calls “predatory ‘second’ providers” from enrolling students before they complete the required six months at their initial institution. This step seeks to prevent practices that could weaken education quality and harm the economic benefits of international education, an industry that’s a crucial part of Australia’s economy.

In addition, the government wants to ensure the financial stability of international students. Starting October 1st, foreign students applying for a visa will need to show evidence of A$24,505 ($15,693) in savings. This requirement is a 17% increase from the current amount and considers higher living costs students might face during their time in Australia.

Australia’s quick response demonstrates its commitment to maintaining the reputation and value of its international education sector. By closing this loophole and enforcing stricter financial standards, the government aims to uphold the industry’s quality and contribute to the country’s economic stability.

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