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Australia cracks down on student visa exploitation and to ban agents caught poaching: Australia’s federal government is taking effective action to address issues affecting the country’s international education sector. 

The government plans to ban education agents from being paid to attract students away from their current institutions. 

This decision follows a thorough review led by Christine Nixon, former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police.

Australia Cracks Down On Student Visa Exploitation And To Ban Agents Caught Poaching

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil stressed the government’s commitment to restoring integrity in the international education system and protecting students’ welfare. 

She said that “the party is over” and that the loopholes that have caused problems in the system will be closed. 

The government will make several announcements in the coming week to improve the integrity of international education and the migration system.

Risk indicators will be incorporated into the international education system to ensure regulatory compliance, focusing on private providers. 

Also, amendments to the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 will strengthen the fit and proper provider test and increase the standards required for registration. The cross-ownership between education providers and agents will also be curbed.

A ban on agent commissions for transfers has been implemented to prevent agents from enticing students already in Australia. 

An investigation by parliament revealed concerning practices, comparing the international student system to a “Ponzi scheme,” where overseas agents receive bonuses for falsely promising students full-time employment. 

To further prevent exploitation, educational providers will now have access to agent performance data, such as student completion rates and visa rejection rates, to address issues within the system. 

The upcoming release of the Nixon review is expected to reveal significant integrity concerns within the sector.

Australia’s crackdown on student visa regulations has overlapped with a decline in the country’s appeal as a study destination amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent global rankings have shown a drop in the rankings of many of Australia’s leading universities. 

In August, the government implemented other reforms that closed a loophole allowing students to change from educational providers to work-based ones if they had been in the country for less than six months. 

The number of concurrent enrollments has risen significantly this year, with investigations revealing an increase from 10,500 in 2019 and 2020 to 17,000 this year. 

In addition, the government is considering suspending “high-risk” education providers from recruiting international students, further tightening regulatory measures in the sector.

So, it is all about Australia cracks down on student visa exploitation and to ban agents caught poaching. 

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