In December 2010, the government appointed the Hon Michael Knight AO to conduct the first strategic review of the student visa program to help enhance the quality, integrity and competitiveness of the student visa program.
On 7 March 2011, Mr Knight released a discussion paper and encouraged interested parties to make a written submission to the review.
With a view to enhancing the quality, integrity and competitiveness of the international education sector, as well strengthening the integrity of the Student visa program, the Review will examine and make recommendations on:
1. An effective partnership framework that considers the respective roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders, including education providers, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and state and territory education departments.
2. The appropriateness of existing threshold requirements for Student visa applicants including English language proficiency, financial capacity and educational qualifications.
3. Approaches to more effectively gauge and manage immigration risk in the Student visa caseload, including considering the suitability of the Assessment Level model.
4. Approaches, including compliance measures, to prevent misuse of the program and deter breaches of visa conditions.
5. The suitability of separate visas for Schools, Vocational Education and Training (VET), Higher Education, Postgraduate Research, AusAid or Defence, Non-award and Student Guardians.
The Review will take into account:
• student visa programs in comparable countries
• relevant reviews and inquiries
• global trends in the international education market
• the objectives of Australia’s demand-driven Skilled Migration program
• best practice data management, exchange and analysis, with regard to privacy principles.