August 31, 2011 – Australia’s international education sector is the country’s third largest source of export income, with over more than hundred thousands of international students granted with Australian student visa entering the country every year. With over 100 ethnic groups and a low crime rate coupled with the increasing number of high quality schools around the country offering innovative programs in business, engineering, humanities, medicine, tourism, and more as well as well-recognized degree programs, Australia is obviously becoming the premiere destination for international education among overseas students.
As Australian universities are well-known for providing multiple learning options for students, international students have the option to pursue degrees at all levels, including vocational certificates, associate degrees, bachelor degrees, master degrees, and doctorate degrees which will make it easy for students to study in Australia at any point of their educational careers.
In order to ensure that stability of the international education sector, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has undertaken some recent key initiatives in the Student Visa Program such as:
Australia student visa assessment levels for 38 countries, for one or more Student visa subclasses was reduced starting April 2, 2011.The changes will lower the minimum evidentiary requirements needed for the grant of a Student visa for the selected countries and education sectors. However, the reductions to assessment levels do not change the likelihood of a former student in Australia obtaining permanent residence.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Pearson Test of English Academic (Pearson) and the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) from Cambridge ESOL (Cambridge) would also be acceptable tests for Australian migration Student visa application purposes. To date, the main English language test accepted by the department for Student Australian visa purposes is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Occupational English Test (OET) is also accepted for specified countries where IELTS is not available.
These additional English language test options will help to increase competition in the English language testing market, while creating more test places for student visa applicants.