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Visa reforms ease way to study in Australia

(Chinadaily.com.cn)

10:13, April 25, 2012

Professor Jennelle Kyd, deputy vice-chancellor of CQUniversity (Central Queensland University).

Starting March 24, 2012, Chinese students applying to study at universities in Australia have access to a new, fast-track visa process, according to Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

The Streamlined Student Visa Processing (SVP) system is a new move by Australia to stem further loss of international students. It applies to applicants for bachelor's, master's, PhD and student exchange programs.

"It will surely make it faster for Chinese students to get their student visa," said Professor Jennelle Kyd, deputy vice-chancellor of CQUniversity (Central Queensland University), one of the participating universities in the SVP program.

Under the new policy, visa applicants with a confirmation of enrollment (COE) from a participating university will be automatically assessed as a Level 1 applicant, which means fewer documentation and financial requirements, Kyd added.

The policy also introduces a post-study work visa program, which enables international students to gain valuable work experience in Australia after graduation. The visa will be available starting Nov 5, 2012.

"Under the new policy, a bachelor's degree student can stay in Australia for up to two years, and our school is very concentrated on students to help them to achieve their career goal and to gain international work experience," Kyd said.

Currently, there are 39 universities participating in the program, all high-quality education providers. The new visa policy is perceived as a great opportunity as well as a big challenge.

"For CQUniversity, the new visa program also means big responsibility," Kyd said. "The university has to take responsibility to make sure they take students who genuinely want to have the international education experience."

CQUniversity is a public university in Australia. Based on the Good Universities Guide 2012, the school achieves a five-star rating in Graduate Starting Salary and a four-star rating in Teaching Quality. Currently, there are 5,000 international students from over 60 countries at CQ University. Popular major choices among Chinese students are business, information technology, and engineering.

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