Skip to content
Government Federal, Immigration

Migration Strategy Reckless In Its Approach To The International Skills Training Sector

Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) 3 mins read

The Australian Government’s approach to the international skills training sector set out in the new Migration Strategy is highly problematic, based on broad and often inaccurate generalisations about quality, and data from a broken visa processing system.  That is the view of the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent providers in the skills training, higher education, and international education sectors.

“The language in the Migration Strategy is reckless and ignores the high-quality skills training outcomes that the majority of international students in Australia receive,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

ITECA welcomes measures to strengthen the integrity and quality of international education.  In committing to working with the Australian Government on initiatives in this area, ITECA is anxious to ensure that there is no massive overcorrection that adversely impacts the entire international skills training sector while dealing with the undesirable approach of a small number of providers.

“It’s in this context that ITECA believes the language in the Migration Strategy concerning quality in the international skills training sector is unhelpful and paints an inaccurate picture of the sector as a whole.  There is a real risk that it will diminish Australia’s reputation as a high-quality provider of skills training to international students,” Mr. Williams said.

ITECA notes that growth in the international skills training sector has been principally driven by the reputation for quality that independent skills training providers have, as evidenced by the following data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER):

NCVER Data – Student Satisfaction                                   

  • Achieved main reason for doing the training:  90.6%
  • Recommend training provider:  83.1%
  • Satisfied with assessment:  87.0%
  • Satisfied with support services overall: 80.1%
  • Satisfied with teaching:  84.2%
  • Satisfied with the facilities:  80.1%
  • Satisfied with the learning resources:  81.0%
  • Satisfied with the training overall:  87.2%

ITECA also has significant concerns with using international student visa processing data to assess the integrity of training providers that support international skills training students.

“ITECA has formally advised the Minister for Immigration that the irregularities in the visa processing system have now reached a point where they threaten the integrity of Australia’s international education system.  The reports of irregularities are not isolated incidents but rather, represent a troubling pattern over a considerable period that requires urgent attention as there is arguably a systematic failure in the student visa processing arrangements that renders the system not fit for purpose,” Mr Williams said.

In looking at the Migration Strategy in its entirety, ITECA has concerns about how the sweeping nature of the reforms set out in the Strategy will play out when detailed policy is determined.

“When it comes to actioning the reforms set out in the Strategy, ITECA is calling on the Australian Government to develop, in close consultation with our members, policy responses that are measured, ones that support international students and the quality independent tertiary education providers these students study with,” Mr Williams said.

Given the Australian Government’s messaging about reducing the overall migration intake by more than 200,000 people per year, there are concerns that it’s international skill training students wanting to study in Australia that the Australian Government will target. 

“The fact that the Australian Government has not ruled out placing a cap on the number of international students able to come into Australia is of concern,” Mr Williams said.

ITECA shares the Australian Government’s commitment to ensure that overseas students can study in Australia with confidence, having complete confidence in the quality of the tertiary education they will access.

“While we broadly welcome the direction of the reforms set out in the Strategy, the ITECA membership has concerns that the Australian Government’s response will be disproportionate to the risks that may exist,” Mr Williams concluded.


Contact details:

Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive
m: 0400 599 934


More from this category

  • Government Federal, Legal
  • 28/05/2024
  • 19:01
Community Legal Centres Australia

Community legal sector welcomes NLAP Review and calls on governments to respond swiftly

Community Legal Centres Australia welcomes the independent review of the National Legal Assistance Partnership (NLAP) agreement and calls on federal, state, and territory governments to respond swiftly to its recommendations. Following the 2024 Federal Budget, the community legal sector is facing its worst level of funding insecurity in a decade. At the same time, increasing demand for assistance, chronic underfunding and a workforce crisis are forcing community legal centres to turn away a thousand people every day and contributing to high rates of vicarious trauma and burnout for workers. The Review finds that current funding levels are insufficient to meet…

  • Energy, Government Federal
  • 28/05/2024
  • 12:44
Mining and Energy Union

Dr Iain Ross a welcome choice to lead Net Zero Economy Authority

The Mining and Energy Union welcomes today’s appointment of Dr Iain Ross AO as Chair of the Net Zero Economy Authority. MEU General President Tony Maher said Dr Ross, a former President of the Fair Work Commission, has a wealth of industrial relations experience and is well placed to ensure workers’ interests are protected during Australia’s energy transition. “A key element of the Authority’s work will be implementing the Energy Industry Jobs Plan to support workers affected by power station closures,” said Mr Maher. “For the sake of our energy workforce and energy regions, it’s very important that this work…

  • Government Federal
  • 28/05/2024
  • 12:10
Parliament of Australia

Parliamentary Budget Officer announces departure

Today, Dr Stein Helgeby has advised the Presiding Officers that he will not seek reappointment as the Parliamentary Budget Officer when his term expires in November 2024. Senate President, Senator the Hon Sue Lines, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon Milton Dick MP, thank Dr Helgeby for his contribution and his stewardship of this important institution over the past four years. Under Dr Helgeby’s leadership,the department has upheld a reputation for providing independent and non-partisan economic and fiscal analysis to Parliament. The demand for Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) services has continued to grow, whichis testament to…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.