Higher education provider Navitas saw $100 million wiped from its shares listed on the stock exchange despite posting a strong increase in earnings. Investors sold-off of on warnings that growth rates in the coming years may be slowing down due to several factors including the crackdown on student visa rorters.
Navitas has written off its Indian recruitment business Study Overseas and the Navitas Resources Institute in the second half of the year, according to a report in The Australian.
Other media reports indicate that a key factor for the write-down is tougher assessments of applicants from Nepal and India. Both universities and the department of immigration consider these countries high risk markets for visa rorts, said the group’s chief executive Rod Jones.
“We initially had significant enrolments from countries like Nepal and India,” Mr Jones told the AAP. “However, we made a deliberate decision four months ago to reduce those enrolments because we saw lot of the students were not genuine in that they were interested in migration rather than education.”
He however said India, alongside China and Vietnam, continues to be one of its biggest markets.
Earlier, the Australian reported that there was increasing evidence that students were entering the country by enrolling in a government-approved university or college under the streamlined visa processing programme, and then jumping ship to a cheap private college to finish their qualification at a fraction of the cost while remaining eligible for post-study work rights.
The report also stated that the Immigration Department wrote to some 1400 students who had left SVP-approved institutions before completion but were still in the country, warning them of the risk of visa cancellation for a breach of their visa conditions.
A DIBP spokesperson told The Australian, “The department continues to closely examine subsequent onshore visa applications from students engaged in course-hopping,” she said. “Where these applications are found to be non-genuine, consideration is also being given to cancelling the student’s existing visa.”