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Faster visa processing could help higher education sector

30 May 2014, by Informa Insights

InternationalFlagsAttracting talented students from overseas is important for higher education institutions in Australia, and a recent government decision could prove to be a massive help.

The Department of Immigration and Border Control announced that it will be extending its streamlined visa processing arrangements to students at “low immigration risk providers”. Those who are enrolled in advanced diploma level courses at these institutions will be able to have their visas processed and approved faster, thus acting as another draw-card for international students to consider a course Down Under.

“This will make study in Australia even more attractive to overseas students, while at the same time ensuring that immigration risk is appropriately managed,” asserted Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison.

Minister for Education Christopher Pyne also welcomed the move, and expects the changes to significantly benefit the already high-quality Vocational Education and Training (VET) and higher education sectors in Australia. The flow-on benefits are also set to be immense, boosting both the country’s international education industry and the economy as a whole.

With closer ties to vital overseas partners and markets, it could also open up more opportunities for higher education networking on a global scale.

“The number of international students seeking to study in Australia continues to rebound positively, with an increase of over 27 per cent in the number of visas granted to offshore applicants in the 2013-14 program year,” Minister Pyne revealed.

“Extending SVP (streamlined visa processing) arrangements will help capitalise on these trends, reducing red tape and helping to attract further students from overseas.”

The arrangements have been available to eligible education providers in Australia since late March this year. Subject to the relevant legislative amendments, the extended arrangements could come into effect by early 2015.

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