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Private colleges will find it easier to benefit from Australia’s booming international student business, under the new student visa system which is set to be introduced mid-2016, notes a report in The AFR. Details of the new system were broadly set out in the Coalition government’s report: Future directions for streamlined visa processing.

Under the proposed new student visa system, foreign students will have to deal with a simpler student visa regulatory environment which will see a reduction of the number of student visa subclasses from eight to just two subclasses.

Rod Camm, CEO of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET), told the Australian Financial Review that Australia’s student visa system is currently so complex that colleges attending education fairs end up spending half their time explaining the visa system instead of talking about the quality of education, noting, “Australia is open for business and visa complexities make it so hard.”

One the key concerns of many is the two tiered risk assessment framework. Under the new system applications are expected to be assessed on a single immigration risk framework: the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF).  It will replace both the Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) arrangements and Assessment Level (AL) Framework.

The SSVF will essentially rank education providers and countries each year ‘based on the immigration risk outcomes of their international students over the previous 12 month period’. Apparently it is expected to give education providers ‘a strong incentive to recruit genuine students’ and slowly squeeze out the high-risk education providers.

Universities Australia Deputy Chief Executive, Anne-Marie Lansdown noted, “We support a risk-managed approach to the student visa regime that rewards low-risk providers with access to simpler visa processes for their students.”