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Monday, November 10, 2014

Why Study in Australia?

If you are currently thinking of studying at an overseas educational institute, whether to improve your English language skills or just because you would like to experience life in a different country whilst working towards a degree, Australia is well worth considering as a study destination. When compared with the traditional alternatives, such as the UK and USA, it has plenty to offer students from all over the world and is currently the third favourite choice among those who choose to study abroad. For an insight into why it is growing in popularity, take a look at the list below.

  1. Easier visa application systemalthough there is still a fair amount of work involved in applying for a student visa for those who are interested in studying at Australian universities and colleges, most applicants find that the whole process is simpler and fairer than it is in other countries. British and US immigration officials in particular are renowned for their sometimes capricious attitudes that can make applying for visas something of a lottery.

  1. Multicultural environmentAustralia has welcomed immigrants from across the globe over the last century, resulting in a society that is truly multicultural in its makeup. This means that students from foreign countries find it very easy to fit in when they arrive and can always find fellow countrymen to converse with if they feel homesick. It also means that wherever you are coming from, you will probably be able to find restaurants and caf├ęs close to your place of study that serve food with which you are familiar. This is especially true for those who choose to attend colleges in major cities such as Sydney.

  1. Lower cost of livingwhen compared to virtually anywhere in the United Kingdom or the United States of America, the cost of living in Australia is significantly lower. It is still necessary to provide evidence of sufficient funds for living costs, tuition fees and airfares when applying for a student visa, but because accommodation, food and utilities are cheaper than in the UK and USA, you will need less money in the bank before you are in a position to do so.

  1. A greater variety of job opportunitiesother developed nations can be very picky about the professions and disciplines they open up to overseas candidates whereas in Australia, a wider choice is available to foreign students who graduate from local universities. Gaining valuable work experience with multinational companies is one of the reasons that many people wish to study for a degree overseas in the first place so this is a big plus whether you plan to study in New South Wales, Queensland or any other part of the country.

  1. Government financial aidinternational students that wish to study certain subjects may qualify for a scholarship or fellowship from schemes such as the Australia Awards funded by the government. If you want to find out whether the course you are taking could possibly be partly funded by a scholarship, it is best to talk to the financial aid officer at the university in question. Some funding is dependent on the student making good grades throughout the course they are taking so you need to be serious about your studies if you are going to accept financial help from government bodies.


The climate and lifestyle in cosmopolitan cities are other reasons commonly cited by foreign students for choosing to study in Australia over other more established international education centres such as the UK, but the above five reasons are those that I think should carry most weight with serious undergraduates.



About the author


Eliza Devereux is a freelance writer working with DEC International, a gateway to one of the biggest training and education providers across the globe, including Australian universities.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Four year Temporary Graduate skilled visa subclass 485

Changes were made to the Temporary Skilled Graduate (subclass 485) visa, from 23 March 2013.

You can apply for Four year temporary graduate skilled visa subclass 485 in the Post-Study Work stream if you:
  • applied for, and were granted, your first student visa to Australia on or after 5 November 2011
  • have completed an eligible qualification from an Australian educational institution
  • meet the two year Australian study requirement in the past six months.

First student visa

This stream is only available to you if you applied for, and were granted, your first Student visa to Australia on or after 5 November 2011. If you applied for and were granted any Student visa to Australia (including subclasses 560, 562, 570, 571, 572, 573, 574, 575, 576 or 580) before 5 November 2011, as either the main applicant or the family member of an applicant, you will not be able to apply in this stream.

Qualifications

In the past six months you must have completed one or more of the following qualifications at an Australian educational institution:
  • bachelor degree
  • bachelor degree with honours
  • masters by coursework degree
  • masters (extended) degree
  • masters by research degree
  • doctoral degree.

When is your course completed?

Qualifications are considered to have been completed when your educational institution publicly notifies you that you have met the requirements for the award of the qualification, for example, in a completion letter. Submission of a thesis, or completion of exams, is not sufficient.

This date should not be confused with the date of conferral of your award. The date of conferral is the date that you actually receive your degree, diploma or trade qualification, for example, at a graduation ceremony.

Australian study requirement

In the six months before you apply, you must meet the Australian study requirement. This means that you must have completed one or more courses registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
Your course must:
  • result in the award of a bachelors, masters or doctoral degree
  • be conducted in English
  • be at least two academic years (92 weeks) duration
  • be lawfully completed in no less than 16 months
  • be completed at an Australian educational institution in Australia.
English language proficiency courses or enabling programs cannot be used to meet the Australian study requirement.

If you complete a graduate diploma or graduate certificate in a packaged, nested or articulating course leading to an eligible qualification, you can use that study towards meeting the two-year study requirement. For example, you can count a Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies leading to a Master of Education.

You can only use study that leads to an eligible qualification. If you complete a degree and then take a graduate diploma or graduate certificate course, the diploma or certificate course cannot be used to meet the two-year study requirement.

How does the duration of your course count towards this requirement?

You can use CRICOS to find the registered duration of a course. The department will use the same information. A course that is listed on CRICOS as having a 92-week duration is considered to meet the requirement of two academic years.
The department will credit you only with the duration that is listed on CRICOS, even if you take longer to complete your course. Failed subjects and parts of courses taken outside Australia do not count.

If your educational institution awards you credit towards a qualification on the basis of prior learning, that credit may count towards meeting the two-year requirement, but only if the prior learning was in Australia, was in a CRICOS-registered course, and is used only once to meet the Australian study requirement for a visa.

If you take overlapping courses for separate qualifications (for example, a Masters in Finance and a Masters in Accounting), the period of overlap can only be counted once towards the two-year requirement.

You cannot count any studies outside Australia towards the Australian study requirement. The only courses you can count towards the Australian study requirement are those that are completed in Australia.


Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa
Changes were made to the Temporary Skilled Graduate (subclass 485) visa, from 23 March 2013.
This visa was renamed the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.
Students may be eligible to apply for a subclass 485 visa through either the Graduate Work stream or the Post-Study Work stream, depending on their individual circumstances.
Information regarding the subclass 485 visa is available.
All subclass 485 visa applicants must meet the Australian study requirement in the six months immediately prior to making their visa application, regardless of the stream that they are assessed under.
The Australian study requirement
The Australian study requirement has two equally important and related components. To meet this requirement, students must have:
1)    attained either a single qualification requiring at least two academic years study or multiple qualifications resulting in a total period of at least two academic years study; and
2)    undertaken this study in no less than 16 months.
For both streams of the subclass 485 visa, the Australian study requirement must have been met in the six months immediately before making a visa application.
Acceptable courses
To meet this requirement, the course/courses must also:
·       be registered through the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Course for Overseas Students (CRICOS)
·       have been successfully completed
·       have resulted in an eligible qualification (see page 3 for further detail)
·       have had all instruction in English
·       have been completed while physically in Australia
·       have been completed while holding a visa allowing study in Australia
·       be counted only once towards the Australian study requirement.
English language proficiency courses or enabling programs cannot be used to meet the Australian study requirement.

Two academic years study
Two academic years study is defined as 92 weeks of study in a course or courses registered by CRICOS. CRICOS determines a standard duration (number of weeks) for each course.
Students may take longer to complete the course, but will only be credited with the number of weeks that CRICOS determines as a standard duration. For example, if it takes a student 92 weeks to successfully complete a course that CRICOS says should take 78 weeks, they will receive credit for 78 weeks only.
Only study that is successfully completed counts towards the two academic years. Failed subjects will not be considered.
Students may meet the two year academic study requirement when completing a course that is longer than two years. For example, if a course is CRICOS registered for 138 weeks (three years) and consists of 24 equally weighted units, two academic years will be met when 16 units of that course have been successfully completed.

Credits and exemptions
Credits for prior learning may reduce the amount of study undertaken. Credit granted on the basis of study undertaken in Australia in a course registered with CRICOS may contribute towards meeting the Australian study requirement, but only once.

The credited units cannot be counted towards meeting the Australian study requirement if they are already being used to meet the requirement as part of another course or if they were granted on the basis of study undertaken either overseas or within Australia in a non-CRICOS registered course.
Minimum of 16 months
The Australian study requirement cannot be met in less than 16 months.
This period begins when the study commences (generally from the start of lectures and excluding orientation periods) to the date at which all academic requirements have been completed.

Overlap of qualifications
Students may undertake overlapping qualifications. For example, students applying under the Graduate Work stream of the subclass 485 visa may complete a Diploma in Finance and then a Diploma in Accounting where two units in the last qualification have been granted as credit from the earlier qualification.
Where qualifications overlap, periods of study cannot be counted more than once.
If a student completes more than one qualification, but uses only the most recent qualification to meet the Australian study requirement, then any credit received in the most recent qualification from the previous qualification(s) will count towards meeting the Australian study requirement.
The actual period of study within the previous qualification(s) on which the credits were based may also be used to meet the 16 month requirement.

Study outside Australia
Study undertaken outside Australia cannot be used to satisfy the Australian study requirement. However, if a student undertook some study overseas but nevertheless completed at least two academic years of study in no less than 16 months in Australia in a CRICOS registered course, they can still meet the Australian study requirement.

 Example
An applicant who undertook a three year, six semester Bachelor degree following the study pattern mentioned below will have completed two academic years study in Australia:
·       semester 1 outside Australia
·       semester 2 in Australia
·       semester 3 in Australia
·       semester 4 in Australia
·       semester 5 outside Australia
·       semester 6 in Australia
The pattern of study does not matter as long as the Australian study requirement is met.

Completion date
Subclass 485 visa applications must be lodged within six months of the date of course completion.

The date of course completion is the first date on which the educational institution publicly notifies the student that they have met the requirements for the award of their degree, diploma or trade qualification. This notification can occur by:
·       letter
·       publication in a newspaper
·       publication on the internet
·       email
·       bulletin board at the tertiary institution.
This date should not be confused with the date of conferral of award. The date of conferral is the date that the student actually receives their qualification, for example, at a graduation ceremony.
Applying under the Post-Study Work stream
The following provides information about the Australian study requirement specific to subclass 485 visa applicants under the Post-Study Work stream.

Eligible qualifications
To meet the Australian study requirement, the course/courses must have resulted in an eligible qualification. The eligible qualifications differ depending on which stream of the subclass 485 visa the applicant selects.

For the purposes of applying for a subclass 485 visa under the Post-Study Work stream, only study that results in the conferral of an eligible degree level qualification will be considered. An eligible degree level qualification is a:
·       Bachelor degree
·       Bachelor (honours) degree
·       Masters by coursework degree
·       Masters (extended) degree
·       Masters by research degree
·       Doctoral degree
Study resulting in a diploma level qualification or trade qualification will not be considered.
As an example a student may complete a one year Bachelor degree followed by a one year Masters degree and meet the Australian study requirement under the Post-Study Work stream, provided the other components of the requirement are satisfied.

Study must be at a certain level
Only study undertaken at Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Level 7 or above (Bachelor degree level or above), which leads to the conferral of an eligible degree level qualification, may be considered towards meeting the Australian study requirement. An eligible degree level qualification is a Bachelor degree, Masters by coursework degree, Masters (extended) degree, Masters by research degree or Doctoral degree.
This means that degree level courses which are packaged with a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma course may be considered, provided they otherwise meet the Australian study requirement.
Example
Students who complete a Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies which articulates (or leads) into a Master of Education are able to use both the study at the Graduate Diploma and at the Masters level towards meeting this requirement.
Example
Students who complete a Bachelor of Arts and then a Graduate Diploma in Asia-Pacific Studies will only have study undertaken at the Bachelor degree level considered, as the Graduate Diploma did not contribute towards the conferral of an eligible degree level qualification.
Study must be at an eligible education provider
All courses used to satisfy the Australian study requirement must have been undertaken at an eligible Australian university or any other education provider accredited to offer degree level programs.
Applying under the Graduate Work stream
The following provides information about the Australian study requirement specific to subclass 485 visa applicants under the Graduate Work stream.
Eligible qualifications
To meet the Australian study requirement, the course/courses must have resulted in an eligible qualification. The eligible qualifications differ depending on which stream of the subclass 485 visa the applicant selects.
For the purposes of applying for a subclass 485 under the Graduate Work stream, the course/courses must have resulted in a degree, diploma or trade qualification. For example, a student may complete two consecutive Diploma level courses and satisfy the Australian study requirement under the Graduate Work stream, provided the other components of the requirement are satisfied.

 Qualifications must be closely related to nominated occupation
The qualification(s) completed must be closely related to the student’s nominated skilled occupation. This means the subject matter and the skills gained from the qualifications can be applied at the level achieved in the nominated skilled occupation.
Example
Acceptable combinations of study and nominated occupations include:
·       an applicant who nominates ‘Pharmacist’ as their skilled occupation and completes a Bachelor of Pharmacy in Australia
·       an applicant who nominates ‘Air-conditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber’ as their skilled occupation who has completed a Certificate III in Plumbing and a Diploma of Plumbing and Services in Australia
Example
A combination of study and nominated occupation that would not be acceptable:
·       An applicant’s nominated occupation is Registered Nurse but they satisfied the Australian study requirement on the basis of having completed a Bachelor of Commerce.