News Detail


Australia forbids concurrent enrollment as part of a campaign against "dodgy" providers

In order to crack down on "shady" providers, Australia has closed a loophole that let foreign students switch to cheaper providers soon after arriving in the country. 

The government is "worried" about more than 200 providers whose visa rejection rates are currently higher than 50%

Ministers also said they might stop letting "high-risk" schools hire people from other countries, and the amount of money students need to get visas is going to go up.

Institutions can no longer make parallel confirmation of enrolments (CoE), which are meant to let students take extra classes on top of their main program of study.

People are worried that "unscrupulous" education companies are misusing this policy to get students to switch schools. 

Students usually have to wait at least six months to switch providers, but this "loophole" lets them do so much sooner after they arrive in Australia. 

The government says that there has been a "sharp uptake" of the concurrent function in 2023. In the first half of the year, 17,000 concurrent enrolments were made, compared to about 10,500 for the same time period in 2019 and 2022 combined.

The problem has been brought up multiple times in ongoing government reviews and parliamentary inquiries. Some people have said that onshore education agents and vocational colleges benefit from course-hopping. 

Jason Clare, the minister for education, said that some shady people are taking advantage of the fact that kids are back in school. 

With this change, predatory "second" providers won't be able to sign up students before they have studied at their first provider for the needed six months.

This will help protect the quality of one of our most important products and stop shady operators. 

Brendan O'Connor, who is in charge of skills and training, said that the changes would make the VET sector more trustworthy. 

Nine out of ten jobs in the future will require education beyond high school, and VET is a key way to get a job. We want to change how people think about VET, and this is a big step in that direction, he said.

And providers are likely to be looked at more closely because ministers have said they may start issuing suspension certificates to stop "high-risk" institutions from bringing in international pupils. This has never been done before. 

The government is "very worried" about the more than 200 providers whose visa rejection rates are currently above 50%.

Canberra will start talking to people right away about what would be grounds for a ban, which could include looking at how often providers say no and how often people apply with fake papers. 

The amount of money that foreign students will have to show they have in order to get a visa will also go up by 17%, to AUS $24,505. 

The government said that this price hadn't changed since 2019 and that the change was needed "to account for higher living costs." 

After the government decided to put a limit on how many hours students can work, there were worries that some students might not be able to pay for their day-to-day bills in Australia. 

In a statement, the government said that the change would "ensure that students coming to Australia to study can pay for their own living expenses and won't be more likely to be exploited because they need a job right away." 

As part of the migration strategy, which is set to come out later this year, the government is also thinking of more ways to "strengthen integrity" in the foreign education system.

This week, the immigration department suggested that it might get rid of the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement on visa applications so that students can say they want to move there for good.

Clare O'Neil, the minister for home affairs, said, "International education is our fourth largest export, and it's important that we keep our global reputation for quality education." People who take advantage of kids are not welcome in our country.

Our message is clear: the party is over, and the scams and holes in the system that have been causing problems will be closed.