A possie in Aussie

August 1, 2009

Rapacious agents chase international students

Migration agents mobbed international students as they left a meeting about the closure of their Sydney college, making offers to find them better deals overseas, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The Herald quotes a community welfare student, Sandeep Kaur, who said she was annoyed consultants were trying to offer a better deal on an education in Canada.

‘‘Everybody’s here to make money. Nothing for us, no emotions, nothing,’’ she said. ‘‘That’s our business, take this and come to us.’’

David Barrow, the president of the National Union of Students, said greater regulatory protection for international students was needed.

‘‘This country has been treating international students like cash cows,’’ he said.

‘‘Everywhere you go where there’s international students, there’s people trying to take advantage of them.’’ Students offered sterling deals in Canada

Andrew Bartlett blogs at Crikey that

There are now reports that the education sector is trying to crack down on so-called ‘rogue education agents’.  It’s hard to see how that achieves anything more than window dressing.  The previous government specifically exempted education agents from the regulatory requirements which currently apply to migration agents. 

This has left these agents completely outside existing controls, beyond the normal laws regarding fraud and the like.  The Migration Agents Registration Authority, which polices the conduct of migration agents, can’t touch education agents.  Nor can they touch those who falsely claim to be migration agents, or those operating offshore who provide misleading advice.  The International Student mess

Larvatus Prodeo comments on Andrew’s article:

“I hope the government is careful in how it reforms the rules surrounding Australian study and immigration. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the current rules for gaining permanent residency, a lot of students have enrolled in courses on that basis; kicking the ground from under them now is not only going to hurt a lot of students, it might further damage Australia’s international reputation.

But reform is necessary.” The international student mess

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