Following reports of students passing Class 12 from the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) not being issued visas for studying in Australia, the Association of Australian Education Representatives in India (AAERI) has approached the Australian high commission.
AAERI was formed in October 1996 to ensure the credibility of agents who are recruiting students on behalf of Australian education and training institutions. The establishment of AAERI was an initiative of Australian Education International (AEI) although AAERI is an independent organisation, registered under the Societies Registration Act of India.
Punjab education minister Daljit Singh Cheema had on Sunday announced to sending a communication to ministries of external affairs and human resource development, with a request to take up the matter with the Australian High Commission.
AAERI seeks clarification
On the official website of the Association of the Australian Education Representatives, Ravi Lochan Singh, head of AAERI’s visa committee, has posted that the association has taken up the refusal of study visa to PSEB students and said there has been significant progress on this matter. He said in reply to his communication, the visa officer of the Australian high commission said the quality GTE (genuine temporary entrant criteria) compliant students, even if from the PSEB, “will not” be refused the student visa.
Ravi said the move had been discussed with the department of immigration and border protection (DIBP), Australia, and they are also seeking clarity on AEI-NOOSR, the assessing body. He also advised the students to remain in contact with regional executives for updates.
When contacted, an executive of AAERI Nirmal Chawla who said , “At this stage, I can just say that the refusal has been given stating that the education and examinations conducted through the PSEB are not listed as equivalent to an Australian Grade 12 qualification under the australian education international - national office of overseas skills recognition guidelines (AEI-NOOSR). They are not satisfied with the current educational background of the students and for now, the PSEB students are not eligible to apply for higher education and batches degree programmes.”
Students in a fix
Sukhbir Singh, father of Lovedeep Singh, who has a dream of settling his son in Australia said: “My son was in the ICSE till Class 5. But even being a genuine case, he is suffering just because he passed his Class 12 from the PSEB. The refusal report claims that PSEB student getting 80% marks cannot score five 5 bands, but my son has got 69% marks and still could get 5.5 bands. Then why is he being refused the visa? This is an eye opener for the PSEB board they should get reforms in the system.”
Most applicants from Punjab
AAERI members said around 65% applications for Australian study visa are from Punjab, most of whom have passed their Class 12 from the PSEB. With this, the “genuine” students are also suffering. They said AAERI would send more communications to convince the high commission not to refuse genuine cases.