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October 6, 2012

Australia cancels 10,000 student visas in immigration crackdown

     London: The Australian Immigration Department has reportedly cancelled more than 10,000 student visas in the past financial year, with many students failing to fulfil the course requirements, according to a report. The department revoked 2219 student visas in 2011/12 over their failure to meet course progress or attendance benchmarks, and cancelled 3107 visas over 'non-genuine students, breaches of visa conditions and voluntary requests for cancellation.'

According to figures by Australian Education International, in the year to August, there were 461,477 enrolments by full-fee paying international students in Australia. But enrolments had declined by 7.6 per cent compared with the same period the year before, The Age reports. These figures include students studying at university, TAFE and secondary school, the paper said.

Earlier this week, it was also reported how an underground market for university essays in Australia was proliferating with ''online essay mills'' targeting international students through Chinese language social media sites. According to the paper, foreign students make a massive contribution to the Australian economy with international education accounting for 16.3 billion Australian dollars in export income in 2010/11.

However, International Association of Universities secretary-general Eva Egron-Polak said that international students offered far greater value than income. ''They really do enrich our lives and our study,'' Polak said, adding that universities around the world needed to foster stronger cultural and academic links with international students.

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