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Assessment task 3 requires the preparation of a full project proposal that should contain the following components:

A detail statement of the problem that you would like to investigate.
Research aim, objectives and research questions: What are the potential research objectives and questions that can address the problem?
Justification and potential output of the research project: Why is your chosen project important both theoretically and practically? What are the potential outputs and outcomes of your research?
Conceptual framework: An analysis of the literature relevant to the research topic that will give you the conceptual basis for conducting this research.
Methodology and presenting secondary data: Based on the conceptual framework, research aim(s) and objectives, you need to provide a detail description of the data collection methods and tools, data sources and the methods/tools that you will use to analyse the data.
Organisation of the study, project budget and schedule: Write the names of the chapters/sections of your research report, and briefly discuss what you will write in those chapters/sections followed by a brief description of budget for conducting this study and project schedule i.e., Gantt Chart.
This is an individual research task. You are required to demonstrate your understanding of the relevant body of works to a real-life business research. We expect you to read and reflect on at least twenty recent refereed journal articles on your topic supported by any other evidence or information that can help refine the problem of your research, formulate conceptual framework and the methods of data collection and analysis.

Immigration policies in Australia

Students from all over the world go to foreign universities for higher studies. Countries have specific policies established for dealing with the students migrating from other countries. Howard government had first established immigration policies for engineering students coming to Australia. The government was keen on getting more students and thus, had established an open policy for giving way for permanent residency through skilled migration program that resulted into a large number students coming from other countries. However, the reforms were changed by Rudd-Gillard government at the time of financial crises which decoupled students program from the skilled migration program which was followed by reduction in the student enrollments from abroad. Abbott government worked to restore confidence of overseas students and brought the skilled migration program again with encouraging students into vocational education.

When international students come to a country, the country gets an economic boost with the funding that is received from those students. The income obtained from international students is always higher than what is received from the local students. Moreover, their stay brings more funds for the country as they have to spend on living and food. Thus, countries encouraged more an more students to enter from other countries. Immigration policies of a country can affect this flow of students in a country. Strict laws defined in the immigration policies can present students from coming. In the case of Australia, different policy modifications done by different leading governments had caused a change in the inflow of students in the country. In this research, the researcher has taken the case of Australia considering the engineering students to understand how policies can impact the Engineering students coming to the country (Blackmore, et al., 2010).

The aim of this research is to explore the immigration policies of Australia over the years to understand how policy structure can affect the engineering students interested in pursuing higher studies in Australia.

In order to achieve the aim of this research, following research questions would have to be answered:

  • What does immigration policies cover for Engineering students coming to a country?
  • What was the immigration policy of Australia at the time of Rudd-Gillard government?
  • What is the current immigration policy of Australia at the time of Abbott government?
  • How was the flow of engineering students coming from other countries was affected in Australia during different policy seasons?
  • How does immigration policies affect the immigration of foreign students in Australia?

Using the research questions presented above, certain research objectives can be framed as follows:

  • Understanding the structure of immigration policies in Australia
  • Exploring and comparing the Australian Immigration policies that existed at the time of Rudd-Gillard government and Abbott government.
  • Exploring and comparing the foreign student’s immigration that existed at the time of Rudd-Gillard government and Abbott government.
  • Understanding how policy statements influence the immigration of engineering students in Australia

International students when entering a new country help in boosting the economy in various ways. While they get the higher funds directly as the fees given to the country, they also have living expenses that bring in more revenues for the country. Moreover, the employment of these students after they have graduated in the foreign country also brings a talent pool which in the long term could be beneficial for the growth of the country and its industries. Students coming from other countries are usually paid less as compared to the students who have the origins from Australia and thus, the companies also save on their costs of hiring and employee management when hiring foreign students. Thus, it is important that Australia has more and more students coming from abroad to study in the country. However, the immigration policy set by the government can affect the inflow of foreign students in the country. Strict laws can prevent them from coming into the country while supportive policies can encourage them. Thus, it is very important to understand how the shaping of these policies influence the students coming from abroad. In Australia, during different government regimes, different flow of Engineering students was observed in the country. Thus, this gives the researcher an opportunity to explore the immigration policies followed in Australia during different occasions and explore their impact on the Engineering students. This would help the researcher understand the link between the government policies and the flow of international students in the country. This would include the understanding of what can restrict students from pursuing higher studies in a new country and what can support them in the same (Migration Council Australia, 2015).

Engineering students studying in Australia

A comparison of the flow of students during different government regimes in Australia would be presented in the tabular format so that the differences in the inflow of engineering students during the times can  be compared. The policies practiced by these different governments would be compared using a simple content analysis to understand the differences. A critical analysis would also be done within the context to reflect upon the policy structures with respect to their impact on the Engineering students coming from other countries.

The outcome of this research would be an insight into the immigration policy including an understanding of the provisions of the immigration policy and the impact of the policy structure on the flow of foreign engineering students coming in Australia. Based on the comparison between policies and the student flows, recommendations would be made how countries should shape their immigration policies to encourage foreign students to come into the country.

This section of the research explores the immigration policy of Australia and the patterns of Engineering students entering the country during the times.

The Australian government allocates a part of their Migration program to the students or people migrating to Australia. In 2010, the total allocation for students coming to Australia for migration were 168 700 places that included , 113 850 from the skill stream, 54 550 in the family stream, and 300 having special eligibilities. The focus of the migration program in the country has been changed over the years since 1945 when it as introduced for the first time in the federal immigration portfolio. Over 65 years, the policy has evolved with its focus put on attracting UK students so that the country can meet the need for skilled labor in the country. With changes in the policy provisions, the number of people and the focus on specific countries have also changed. The focus however remains on addressing the gaps in the skilled labor employment.

In 1945, the Australian government formed the first immigration policy as the government wanted to boost the population in the country to get economic stability post the second world war. The increase in the population of the country would have more people defending and supportin the country during the phase of recovery. Thus, a supportive immigration policy was developed that encouraged more people to come in the country and as a result the population of Australia has started to rise by 1% every year due to immigration.  This helped the country achieve an annual growth rate of population by 2% including immigrants and natural increase in population within the country. The population of the Australian people born overseas was also increased between 1947and 1971 from 9.8% to 20%.

Comparison of student flow during different government regimes


                                                                            Figure 1: Migration Program planned intake and visas granted in Australia (Spinks, 2011)

The numbers planned for the migration program by the government had been fluctuating post that as per the changing economic and political priorities of the government of Australia. The highest figure of planned migration was reached in 1969 and it was 185,000. However, this was followed by a reduction in intake to 50,000 by 1975. Another peak in the intake of students in Australia was observed in 1988 under the regime of Hawke Government when there were 145,000 people migrating from other countries into Australia. After 1988, the planning levels changed again dropping down the intakes to 80,000 in 1992. Howard government that had the initial policy framed came to power again in 1996. This was followed by another rise in the planned migration intake for they were focused on the economic growth of the country. After this, Rudd government took the change and after the intakes reaching another peak of 190,300 in 2009, the government decided to curb down the intakes in response to the global financial crisis that the economy was facing and the skilled labor count was reduced drastically in 2011 (Hawthorne, 2014).  

The 1999 skilled migration reforms in Australia were designed with a motto of “select for success” and thus, involved selection of skilled applicants from other countries to enter through the migration program. The primary applications during the time were poor in English speaking and has unrecognized credentials while their qualifications were associated with the low labor market demand and higher age groups. Thus, at the point of their entry, they were excluded using point-based testing (Hawthorne, Competing for Skills: Migration Policies and Trends IN New Zealand and Australia, 2011).

IN 2005, a study-migration pathway was introduced in the policy for 50% of the migrants among the international students. To be eligible for this pathway, a pre-migration qualification screening was facilitated with fee collected for the service by the regulatory bodies at both state and national levels. A pre-migration English test was also to be given which was initially stared in 1993 for taking people or students in over 100 occupations that needed English speaking workers in the country. The same test was extend to all the fields of occupation by 1999. For this, students had to appear for an intermedia IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam in which a minimum score of Band 5 in speaking, listening, reading and writing was made essential. This measure was taken with the view that English proficiency of a person makes a key determinant of the outcomes in the early employment in any knowledge economic and can be correlated with the success of the student in the long term.

Impact of policy structure on engineering students

The 2006 migration program of Australia had some critical characteristics and these included:

  • The intake of skilled labor from the other countries in Australia under the program was 97,500 in 2005-2006 and these included the professionally qualified people making 66% of the total count.
  • The immigration quota was expanded 3 times during the high demand sessions and was contracted in recession periods.
  • The domestic labor that is ageing is considered as a threat to the economy and thus, need replacements through high fertility levels which was only at 1.8 but the country had no formal policy to deal with them.
  • Major sources of the applications in Australia were from UK, South Africa, and Ireland that were supplying around 17% of skilled migrants between 2004 and 2009 in Australia.
  • The top countries that had the applications to Australia for migration included India, China, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Shri Lanka.
  • The occupations for which most of the migrant population worked in Australia included science an technology with 124,915 professionals dominating the migrants count before 2006. 32% of the migrating workforce was qualified in accounting while 23% were from computing background, 9% from engineering and 9% had studied architecture.
  • 57% of the computing professionals working in Australis in 2006 wer eoverseas born and these included 52% engineers, 45% doctors and 41% accountants.
  • Government has selected a disproportionate number of migrating professionals from the three core fields including computing professionals, engineers, and accountants with 35% computer professionals, 28% engineers and 25% doctors.
  • The temporary labor migrating into Australia was significant increased after the deregulation happened in 1996 and by 2008, around 110,000 additional people were getting added every year to work on projects that lasted for up to 4 years in the under-served areas of the country. This was the results of employer driver programs that did not have any annual cap and were admitting works on the basis of a pre-arranged employment program especially in the areas of mining and health. 58% of these workers were professionally qualified with degrees in computing, engineering, nursing and business.
  • The labor market integration was strong in 2006 and temporary workers were fairly sponsored. 83% of the immigrants who were tested on permanent points-tests were also employed on six month projects, a count that was 60% higher than the previous policy changes.
  • During the six month employment of temporary workers, the wage rates had drastically increased as 99% of the people employed were on the temporary six months tenure. Out of those employed, 82% offshore migrants were doing their best and had higher work rates while they earned less than $20,000 annually in de-skilled positions that were outside of their fields.
  • The risk of skill discounting in Australia was high in 2006. Around 65% engineers coming from South Africa were deployed in professional or managerial positions. Same was the case with 54% of UK and Ireland engineers and 52% of Canadians.
  • Labor displacements were observed during the time for Chinese, Indians, and Filipino engineers in large numbers as they were unemployed or struggled to secure their professional positions as engineers(Blackmore, et al., 2010). 

A research can be majorly qualitative or quantitative. Qualitative researches are chosen in the cases where thee concept studied does not have prominent theories and a deeper understanding is needed to form one such that such a research would mostly follow the path of induction (Lin, 2009). Quantitative research on the other side is used for testing and verifying existing theories on the context and thus, use deductive methodology. In research subjects where partial information may be known but there is more to discover, a mixed methodology is used involving both the qualitative and quantitative inquiries (Holden, 2001). As this research has the data available on the impact of migration policies on student inflow, the same can be explored through a qualitative study of secondary data. However, the experiences and challenges that are faced by the students due to the policy changes has to be understood and tested by involving students in the inquiry. Thus, the researcher would make use of a mixed methodology in a sequential form. The initial part of the research would make use of secondary date for qualitative analysis and would come up with themes for further primary investigation for which surveys on students would be utilized (Ross, 2005).

This research is based on the secondary economic data that would be collected from the government reports and would include the figures of number of immigrants in the engineering field and their classification based on the nationality, occupation, and purpose of stay. An extensive literature would be explored to explore the scholarly opinions of other researchers in the field to understand the migration measures and their impacts on the immigration (Kothari, 2004). Besides this the research would also make use of the primary data that would be collected from the Australian Engineering students immigrating from other countries to understand their experiences and challenges in terms of immigration to Australia (CRESWELL, 2000).

The secondary data would be collected from the government sources on the immigration policies and the inflow of overseas students in Australia. The data would be collected for the duration between 2006 and 2016 and would include data on policy changes, student inflows, categorization of students on the basis of nationality, purpose of migration, and occupation, and the economic impacts on the country (Myllärniemi, 2015). The secondary literature would also be explored to understanding the experiences of engineering students of the immigration policies and the challenges faced by them. This data would be thematically analyzed and the emerging themes would then be used for forming a primary survey questionnaire that would be used for testing the assumptions by involving 50 overseas engineering students in Australia in a survey (Fielding, Lee, & Blank, 2016).

The secondary data obtained from the government sources would be analyzed using content analysis to understand and identify patterns of immigration and policy impacts on engineering students. The literature collected on the challenges and experiences of the engineering students in Australia migrating from other countries would be thematically analyses and some themes would be identified (Ross, 2005). These themes would then be used for formulating a survey questionnaire that would be used for collecting data from the migrants. The data collected from the 50 engineering students would be analyzed using statistical procedures on SPSS to test the theories or assumptions that would emerge during the secondary data analysis (GRAY, 2016).

This research would have following key sections:

Introduction: the introduction section would highlight the aims, objectives, research questions, background and significance of the research

Literature  Review: This would explore the migration policy changes in Australia, the flow of immigrates during the changing years, the impacts of policies on the engineering students including the challenges faced and the experiences. It would also include the study of reasons behind the choice of policy changes and the impacts of the changes on the economy during those times.

Research Methodology: This section would highlight the methods that would be used for the research in detail including the methods of data collection and analysis as well as the expected outcomes.

Data Analysis: In this section the analysis obtained from the secondary and primary researches would be combined and discussed critically to present important insights on the subject

Conclusions and Recommendations: In this section the major findings and interpretations of the study would be summarized and the recommendations would be presented for the countries to have effective immigration policies that are capable of achieving their economic objectives and of inviting more students in the country (Rugg & Petre, 2011).

This research would need $100,000 for data collection, analysis, and report preparation.

The research would be completed within 6 months during which the researcher would explore the polices and the secondary data to develop themes, would use them to build  survey questionnaire, conduct a survey on 50 engineering students in Australia and would come up with the insights and recommendations through analysis of the collected data. The schedule of the  research for the three months in presented in the table below: 

Task Name





Research Plan

246 days

Mon 28-05-18

Mon 06-05-19


   Formulation of objectives

30 days

Tue 26-03-19

Mon 06-05-19


   Literature review

20 days

Tue 26-02-19

Mon 25-03-19


   Research methodology

30 days

Tue 15-01-19

Mon 25-02-19


   Secondary data collection

20 days

Tue 18-12-18

Mon 14-01-19


   Secondary data analysis

20 days

Tue 20-11-18

Mon 17-12-18


   Thematic analysis

15 days

Tue 30-10-18

Mon 19-11-18


   Questionnaire design & testing

20 days

Tue 02-10-18

Mon 29-10-18


   Survey conducted on engineering students

15 days

Tue 11-09-18

Mon 01-10-18


   Survey data analysis

20 days

Tue 14-08-18

Mon 10-09-18


   Comparison and critical analysis of comprehensive data

10 days

Tue 31-07-18

Mon 13-08-18


   Summarization of research

15 days

Tue 10-07-18

Mon 30-07-18


   Report preparation

20 days

Tue 12-06-18

Mon 09-07-18



10 days

Tue 29-05-18

Mon 11-06-18


   Submission of report

1 day

Mon 28-05-18

Mon 28-05-18

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