By Hu Jiayi in Sydney, Australia
During graduation, more students pay attention to overseas study information in order to further their study or upgrade themselves for better jobs. Here are four favorable factors that tell you why the time is ripe to study in Australia.
In 2014, new visa rules witnessed a 20 per cent increase on the previous year’s figure of Chinese high school students’ enrollment in Australia according to a report about Chinese students’ preference for Australian education from ABC news.
The Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) made a number of changes to student visas as following: Assessment Level (AL) Framework has been simplified to three assessment levels (AL1 to AL3) through the removal of AL4 and AL5. Student visa applicants who need to supply evidences for their English-language proficiency can submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT), the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic and the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test and the long accepted IELTS results. Also, the student visa application charge has reduced from AUD $565 to $535.
“Applications for Australian high school shows an increasing tendency and the amount is more than that of 2013.” Says Jinghua Pan, the education consultant of Guangzhou Overseas Chinese Service Center, which is the first abroad and immigration institution of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China.
In addition, new visa rules for international high school students show that students can go to study in Australia on student visa as soon as grade seven, which is more convenient for lower grade students compared to the restriction of grade-nine-above before the rules were amended.
“More Chinese students apply for Australian high school since the release of Australian new visa policy. We got 50% growth compared to the data in 2013, and the major applicants are grade eight and grade nine students.” Says Xue Lei, the senior consultant of CStudyAbroad.com, which is a study-abroad agency that specialized in providing services for studying in Australia.
Interestingly, this new visa rule paves the way for the “go earlier” strategy that share by most Chinese families. They believe the earlier their children go overseas, the earlier their children can adapt to the country to gain foreign languages capacities and life skills. Also, they may have more opportunities to attend good universities if they finish their high school educations.
Image: Dan Li: All Rights reserved
Huiying Li, the mother of a Chinese high school student Dan Li, sent her daughter to Australia when the girl was only 15 years old. “The earlier I sent her to study abroad, the earlier she can enter the mainstream of the society. Of course I am really upset to leave her in a totally new country, but I cannot let my personal emotion hinders her way of becoming mature.” Said Huiying Li.
Also, Chinese families are required to deposit ￥300,000 RMB (equivalent to $62079.92 AUD at the exchange rate on 3rd June, 2015) as guarantee to support their children financially in Australia before the visa rules are amended. In recent decades, however, with the rise of Chinese middle class families, the Australian government relaxed the rules to welcome more Chinese students. Hobsons, an organization that provide information and services that help students to select the right education and career options, says “applicants will also see reduced financial requirements and are now only required to show evidence of funds to support 12 months of study, as opposed to the former 18 months.”
Among the factors that attract Chinese students to study in Australia, the most direct one is the depreciation of Australian dollar. It has lost 25 per cent of value against the US dollar in two years. The chart below illustrates the exchange rate of AUD against CNY from 2013 to 2014. The general tendency from January 2013 to December 2014 saw a decline from 6.531294 to 5.099217, which indicates that more Chinese families can afford to support their children to study in Australia with lower cost of tuition fee and living expenditure.
Disappointed by the Chinese spoon-feeding style, which to some extend impairs students’ imagination and the ability to think and investigate independently, the well-arranged school curricula, safe study environment and the inspiring teaching approaches of Australian education are excellent reasons for Chinese students to further their studies.
Grade 12 students having exam in Qingyuan Overseas Chinese Middle School in Qingyuan, Guangdong Province, China.
Image: Jiayi Hu : All Rights reserved
Spoon-feeding education style is the product derives from the fierce competition within the most populous country in the world. Students have no choice but to learn knowledge under the regulation of compulsory education system so as to pass the college entrance examination at the end of grade 12. Most Chinese people believe that the college diploma is the ticket to better jobs. This method seems effective to acquire knowledge within a short period, however, it leaves little time and space for students to gain insight into what they have learned, so most of them lack the ability to think independently.
“I don’t like to say bad words to my country, but I have to say that the Chinese examination education does have many disadvantages, especially for imposing too much pressures and destroying imagination of students to a certain extend. However, schools in Australia are of a great differences. Australian government carries out the quality-education, which gives students a lot more free time to find and develop their real characteristics. And I find that the study environment is very positive, and teachers are super humorous and very gentle.” Said Dan Li.
Lastly, it is easier for students to enter the Group of Eight than other good universities in other countries because Australian universities need fewer materials in application processes.
“Postgraduate students are the biggest group among the total applicants. I can see that most Australian universities are trying to streamline their application requirements such as reducing application materials and increasing working efficiency so that students can shorten their time to prepare materials and get more opportunities to enter elite universities.” Says Xue Lei.
Chinese parents increasingly choosing Australian high school