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Government to examine student migration

Government to examine student migration article image

The education sector has been tainted with disrepute following reports in of migration scams involving foreign students in The Australian newspaper and on ABC's Four Corners program. The Australian and Four Corners gave examples of how students could pay agents for automatic passes on English tests to accelerate residency applications. Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith says the matter is being examined via stricter regulation of the industry. "When we were in Opposition we did express significant concerns about the regulation of migration agents, and as a consequence of that we've recently seen a migration regulatory authority come into existence to regulate that industry better," he said. The Federal Police and the Department of Education and Employment conducted a raid on one migration agent's office following the Four Corners story, but other migration bodies say the framework is not tight enough to deal with illegal agents effectively. "One raid does not make a solution," said Maurene Horder, CEO of the Migration Institute of Australia, on the ABC's AM program. "We've given the government quite a large number, a list, of agents that we thought should be pursued by the department. I don't know what's happened to that. I think they've got to be more diligent now in getting the people who are operating outside the law and the people who are exploiting international students."

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