Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Two reports on overseas students in Australia

From Australia's overseas education 'a scam':
"Thousands of Indians are being enrolled in "dodgy" courses in Australia, while others are paying up to $20,000 for a good result in the International English Language Test System exam, an investigation into the overseas student industry has found.

Following a recent spate of attacks on Indian students in Australia, The Australian reports the nation's $14-billion international education sector has turned into a recognised immigration racket."

From Foreign students 'slave trade':
"THOUSANDS of overseas students are being made to work for nothing — or even pay to work — by businesses exploiting loopholes in immigration and education laws in what experts describe as a system of economic slavery.

The vast pool of unpaid labour was created in 2005 when vocational students were required to do 900 hours work experience. There was no requirement that they be paid.

Overseas students remained bound to the system as completion of such courses became a near-guaranteed pathway to permanent residency in Australia."
P.S. (July, 23) Another horror story
P.P.S.(July, 27) Reports keep coming: Lifting the lid on Australia's 'visa factories':
"Reports had been circulating for the best part of a year about dodgy private colleges and the visa factories of Sydney and Melbourne.

In one year alone the vocational education sector had grown by over 50 per cent, fuelled by over 70,000 Indian students coming to buy an education.

Egged on by immigration and education agents, many were told that if they enrolled in cooking and hairdressing they could not only get a diploma but they could qualify for permanent residency in Australia.

And indeed they could.

The Government had instituted a deliberate immigration pathway through education, but the trouble was many of the training schools were supplying qualifications that were worthless, and the policing of standards in the colleges was woefully inept.

Four Corners discovered that not only were many of the courses bogus, but other illegal scams were keeping the system afloat.

If a student wants to apply for permanent residency they must pass an English language test. Four Corners has clear evidence that unscrupulous education agents are offering the tests for thousands of dollars.

Similarly with the work experience certificates that students need to acquire as part of their training. These too can be procured through networks of corrupt businesspeople for thousands of dollars.

The question is - how is this being allowed to happen? "
Well, one of the answers may be economy. House prices seem to be an important part of the economy. Demand from students, and easing residence restrictions for foreigners to own houses in Australia have maintained the house prices. With just a few cities in the country, this type of manipulation seems easy. Moreover student pay full fares, more than fair prices for housing, provide cheap labour.

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