Education Minister Christopher Pyne and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison have released a joint media release heralding an overhaul of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework from early 2014.
The changes include:
- A reduction in the number of assessment levels from five to three (AL1, AL2 and AL3).
- Re-classification of countries and education sectors currently subject to AL4 to be reduced to AL3 conditions.
- Financial requirements for AL3 student visa applicants being downgraded from 18 months to 12 months, as long as the funds are provided by a close relative of the applicant.
The changes are also being extended to 22 low-risk non-university degree providers, in what the government is describing as a positive move for the vocational education sector.
The changes are expected to increase the attractiveness of Australia’s tertiary education system for overseas students, in a bid to restore the system to its former $19 billion export income status.