China Not Happy with Australian Education Department
China sends the most number of Ph.D. students to Australia and yet is facing visa delays. The Chinese government calls it a political move, however, the Australian government denies anything as such. It isn’t only Chinese nationals that are facing visa delays but has undoubtedly increased tension between the two countries. More than 100 postgraduate students from China are waiting for approval of their student visa.
These 100 Ph.D. students are funded by China Scholarship Council run by the Chinese Education Ministry and Australian university scholarships. Most of these Ph.D. students belong to fields of robotics, artificial intelligence, healthcare, and mechanical engineering. According to the Chinese education ministry, some of these students are waiting for six months, which is an abnormally long time. A spokesperson from the Australian Department of Home Affairs believes that is not true and wants to reduce the political tension between the two countries. According to the department, 99 percent visa of Chinese Ph.D. students are approved by the Australian government, and the approval rate is 98 percent across all countries.
According to the Department of Home Affairs, 10,826 applications from Ph.D. students across nationalities was approved in 2016 - 17, whereas only 300 rejected. The spokesperson chose not to give the reasons why all those visas rejected. Australian universities that accept Ph.D. students confirmed that students from India, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Iran are facing visa delays as well.
New procedure causing visa delays
The Australian government has started security screening for visas conducted by the Australian Security Intelligence Organization to ensure that no applications are fraudulent. It isn’t the first time Australia hurt a country. Back in 2016, Australia rejected visa application status of an Indian Ph.D. student who was awarded a scholarship from University of Melbourne because his research was on mass destruction weapons.
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