Australia’s $22 billion overseas education sector is now threatened by the proposed new super ministry. In case Australia gives priority to border controls over overseas education sector on lines of the UK, then this will be a big blow to the overseas education sector.
The overseas education sector is the third highest export sector of Australia after coal and iron ore. It is also the third largest overseas education destination after the US and the UK. Both these destinations are witnessing a decline in student visa applications owing to Trump and Brexit. The universities in Australia are looking forward to cash on this to the optimum.
International Education Association of Australia’s Executive Director Phil Honeywood said that it cannot be denied that national security issues could need effective management. But the border control office in the UK created records just to deny approval of student visas, as quoted by The Australian.
Mr. Honeywood further elaborated that due to the merging of border control and immigration a dominant culture has already emerged. This is owing to the exit of crucial experienced staff who comprehended the diverse nuances of visa and immigration policies, said Phil.
It has already been brought to the notice of the government that border control is dominating rather than working parallel with immigration said Mr. Honeywood. He said that the chief concern is that aspiring students from specific nations or regions could be targeted for refusal of visas.
As of now, Australia has been processing student visas through the perspective of qualified immigration officers. These officers appreciate the basis for overseas students opting for higher studies in Australia. But processing visa applications through border control perspective will result in drastic refusals for visas, said Mr. Honeywood.