Kerala nursing students in Melbourne to protest new rules

Home News Kerala nursing students in Melbourne to protest new rules

Hundreds of nursing students from Kerala in Melbourne will march in protest to the Victorian parliament on Wednesday against the new rules for nurses...

Hundreds of nursing students from Kerala in Melbourne will march in protest to the Victorian parliament on Wednesday against the new rules for nurses.

Vinaya Augustine, 25, who is doing a basic course in nursing at the Deakin University in Melbourne, is a worried student.

"Till July this year the rule was that any nurse who has got a score of 6.5 in IELTS (International English Language Testing System) could do a basic one-year course in nursing and get registration to work as a nurse here," she told the sources over telephone from Melbourne.

"But we all were shocked to get a mail from our university that the rules have changed with effect from July 1 that a minimum score of seven is required in IELTS," said Augustine, who went to Australia early this year from Kerala.

"In my batch of 80 students, there are 20 Keralites. Others come from different parts of Asia. Why can't they come out with new rules for new students? This is cruel. We were admitted to the course and is it not fair enough to allow us to go ahead with the old rules?" she asked.

Various Indian associations have also come out in support.

Shaji Varghese, president of the Malayalee Association of Victoria, said from Melbourne that the change of rules midway through a course is unacceptable.

"It is strange that the nurses have been singled out. The other 11 professions under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) are allowed to continue under the old rules of qualifications. There are around 500 nursing students belonging to Kerala who will be affected. That is why we are holding the march," Varghese said.

Nurses like Augustine have paid close to Aus$16,500 as fees for the first semester and another installment of Aus$12,500 is due in December.

Thiruvallam Bhasi, editor of Indian Student Magazine published from Melbourne, said this was a grave issue and would impact many households in Kerala who have taken hefty bank loans to send their children to Australia.

"When Indian minister Vayalar Ravi was here on a visit last month, we had presented this issue to him. We are waiting for the Indian government to take it up. At least they (Australian authorities) should allow those students whose courses have begun to complete it under the old rules," Bhasi said.

Now all eyes are on Wednesday's protest march and many expect that the Australian authorities would open their eyes to the genuine demands of these students.

Source: [ ]

Nursing Students from Kerala, Melbourne, Victorian Parliament, New Rules for Nurses, Deakin University in Melbourne, International English Language Testing System, Asia, Shaji Varghese, President of Malayalee Association of Victoria, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, Thiruvallam Bhasi, Editor of Indian Student Magazine, Indian Government, Indian Minister Vayalar Ravi

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