Are you thinking of pursuing your higher education in Australia? The dream to study in Australia is shared by thousands of international students. With its world-class universities, stunning landscapes, and diverse culture, Australia has long been a popular destination for international students. A chance to study in Australia for Indian students is like winning the lottery.
In quantitative data, 704,032 international students were enrolled in Australian universities by June 2023, marking a 29% rise from the previous year. It is anticipated that the number of international students in Australia will reach 940,000 by 2035.
However, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest rules and guidelines to ensure a smooth transition and successful academic journey. Let’s explore the new rules and regulations that international students need to be aware of when studying in Australia in 2024.
1. Visa Regulations: Key aspect of studying in Australia
Obtaining a student visa is the first step for international students planning to study in Australia. The Australian government has implemented certain changes to visa regulations to streamline the application process and ensure compliance with immigration laws. While the core principle of demonstrating sufficient funds to support oneself during the study period remains unchanged, there have been adjustments to the exact figures. The option to study in Australia for international students has become a little tricky.
The Australian Department of Home Affairs now requires evidence covering tuition fees for the first academic year or the entire course duration if less than a year. Additionally, students need to showcase their ability to cover living costs, which are estimated to be AUD 21,041 for 12 months in 2022. It’s important to note that these figures may be revised to account for inflation and economic factors.
2. Health Insurance: Ensuring access to quality healthcare
Maintaining good health is essential during your studies in Australia. To ensure that all international students have access to quality healthcare services without financial strain, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is mandatory. In 2024, there might be a push for more comprehensive health coverage, providing students with additional benefits and peace of mind.
3. Higher scores required in English proficiency tests
Studying in Australia will now require international students to improve their English proficiency, as the new regulations mandate higher scores on language tests and introduce more thorough evaluations for second visa applications. This may lead to extended stays for students.
To pursue studies in Australia, students typically require a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 for postgraduate programs and a minimum overall score of 6.0 for undergraduate courses. However, these requirements are subject to change, so applicants should check with their chosen universities for the latest information.
4. Balancing study and employment
Work rights associated with student visas have always been an important consideration for international students. While the exact number of hours permissible for work may undergo slight modifications based on the nature and duration of the course, the emphasis remains on prioritizing the primary purpose of the visa, which is studying. It is crucial to understand the limitations and conditions surrounding part-time work opportunities to ensure compliance with visa regulations.
Starting in July 2023, students with visas will have the opportunity to work for a maximum of 48 hours per fortnight during their studies, equivalent to 24 hours per week. According to the official announcement, this adjustment aims to offer students more flexibility in managing their finances while maintaining the primary focus on their academic pursuits. Previously, foreign students were permitted to work for 40 hours every two weeks.
5. Indian educational degrees to be recognised
On March 8, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese unveiled an ‘Australia-India education qualification recognition mechanism.’ This new agreement means that degrees obtained in Australia will now be acknowledged in India, and conversely, degrees acquired in India will be recognized in Australia.
6. Temporary graduate visa
Over the last few years, there have been various revisions to student visas. Indian graduates will remain qualified to extend their stay on a Temporary Graduate Visa for:
- Two years after obtaining a bachelor’s degree
- Three years following the completion of a Master’s degree
- Four years after finishing a Phd
The maximum age for eligibility for a temporary graduate visa will be reduced from 50 to 35.
7. Additional scrutiny to high-risk student applications
The Australian government has chosen to implement more rigorous assessment of high-risk student applications and take action against dishonest education providers. To eliminate all gaps, the Australian government has also raised the financial requirement for international students applying for a student visa. This adjustment takes into account the higher cost of living and now necessitates proof of $24,505 in savings, representing a 17 percent rise from previous thresholds.
8. Bolstered student visa integrity unit
The Australian government has introduced new measures to strengthen the reliability of student visas and combat fraudulent activities associated with international student visas. Education Minister Jason Clare, Skills Minister Brendan O’Connor, and Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil have collectively revealed this strategy to enhance the reputation of Australia’s renowned international education sector. An initiative is being rolled out by the Australian government to closely monitor the attendance records of international students. This step aims at upholding the integrity and trustworthiness of the visa system while discouraging individuals from misusing student visas primarily for employment purposes in Australia, thus protecting genuine students’ interests.
Studying in Australia offers a wealth of opportunities for international students. By staying informed about the latest rules and guidelines, you can navigate the application process, ensure compliance with visa regulations, and make the most of your educational journey. Remember to consult official resources such as the Australian Department of Home Affairs and seek advice from registered Student Visa Agents to stay updated on the changing landscape of studying in Australia in 2024. The best way to move forward is to seek help from study abroad consultants like MSM Unify. Embrace this exciting chapter of your life and enjoy the enriching experiences Australia has to offer!