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DIMIA catches 21 illegal workers

Community information has led to the location of 21 illegal workers and visa overstayers in northern Victoria the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone said today.

‘Staff from my Department located these people at two caravan parks and two residential addresses during a compliance operation on 22 and 23 March in Cobram and Murchison,’ the Minister said.

Of the 21 people located, 10 were visa overstayers while 11 were illegal workers.

The group, of whom seven were female and 14 were male, came from the following countries: Indonesia (10), Malaysia (8), Vietnam (1), Singapore (1) and Korea (1).

All have been transferred to immigration detention prior to removal from Australia.

‘The operation once again highlights the effectiveness of my Department’s compliance operations in locating and detaining people who are unlawfully in Australia or who breach their visa conditions,’ the Minister said.

The Minister said employers who had doubts about their employees’ entitlement to work can call the Department which will be happy to answer any questions or arrange a site visit if necessary.

‘My Department provides Employer Awareness Training and a free Entitlement Verification facility for employers to check whether their employees are allowed to work,’ the Minister said.

DIMIA officers, often with assistance from state police, make regular visits to workplaces in many parts of Australia, including restaurants, farms, shops, offices, factories and brothels, in an effort to detect and locate people who are in the country illegally or who are working illegally.

People with information on illegal workers or visa overstayers should call the Immigration Dob-In Line on 1800 009 623.

SOURCE : DIMIA

DISCLAIMER : Media releases are provided as is by the source mentioned and have not been edited or checked for accuracy. Any queries should be directed to the source of the article itself.

Victoria Uni - No Strike but tension lingers

VICTORIA University of Technology narrowly averted a 48-hour strike yesterday but discontent among staff remains high.

University administration was at loggerheads with the union after conflicting statements were issued late yesterday.

Vice-chancellor Elizabeth Harman contradicted statements from National Tertiary Education Union VUT branch president James Doughney and general secretary Grahame McCullough that an agreement had been reached for a 22 per cent pay rise to June 2008.

"Despite these statements, no agreement has been reached," she said. "The university has made no new offer to the union. Both parties have been negotiating on an agreement through to June 2006. At this stage this is unchanged.

"The action is prejudicial to future negotiations."

Professor Harman said the university would continue to consider its position "and looked forward to resuming discussions after Easter". Dr Doughney said staff had been concerned about proposed faculty restructures, job losses, planned changes to the academic board and what they saw as a lack of progress in enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations.

He said there was unrest among members about a deterioration in education services and worsening staff conditions at the university.

The union feared that VUT did not want to settle a three-year agreement because management wanted an opportunity to "attack employment conditions as soon as possible after the Howard Government's changes to industrial laws come into effect after July1".

Professor Harman said she was delighted the strike had been averted. "This is good news for our students; however, many students will still be disrupted because of the very late withdrawal of the strike action," she said.

One point that staff and management at VUT are agreed on is the uncertainty the university faces in an era of change.

"The Nelson reforms have made our future uncertain," Professor Harman said.

"We need to protect our future viability and sustainability as a teaching and research institution." Dr Doughney said staff had been feeling uncertain about their future because of the Nelson reforms and the university's refusal to sign an EBA to 2008.

"We are concerned that under [federal Education Minister Brendan] Nelson, this university's income will be reduced and we are desperately concerned that the Nelson plans will see VUT becoming a teaching-only institution," Dr Doughney said.

"The people of the western region here in Victoria fought long and hard to get a real university."

He also raised concerns about the university's decision to replace its academic board.

The university's governing council last year voted to merge the academic and TAFE boards into a smaller, 35-member education board, but critics say the move would turn it into little more than a training institution.

Industrial action is also on the cards at Charles Sturt University because of staff concerns about job security, pay, and staff workloads. Staff at Wagga, Albury and Bathurst will take stop-work action today.

SOURCE : The Australian

DISCLAIMER : Media releases are provided as is by the source mentioned and have not been edited or checked for accuracy. Any queries should be directed to the source of the article itself.

Cheating scandal rocks Sydney University

Australia's oldest academic institution, the University of Sydney, has moved to stamp out plagiarism after more than 200 students were suspected of cheating.

In one department alone -- the veterinary faculty -- 73 of the 628 students were investigated for allegedly copying or fabricating material. Most of the copied material had been taken from the Internet, and in many cases, students were caught by anti-plagiarism software.

Many of the students were made to resubmit their work, although only one was ultimately failed by the faculty.

The Faculty of Health Sciences uncovered 80 cases of alleged cheating. Of these students, 29 were failed, 31 were given written warnings and 17 were counselled.

A further 39 cases were detected in the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, while 29 economics and business students were investigated, taking the total number of students allegedly involved to more than 200.

Confidential faculty reports were made public under Australia's freedom of information laws.

Plagiarism from the Internet has become so easy that 25 Australian universities have purchased licenses for anti-plagiarism systems. These allow universities to cross reference students' work with previously published material.

But Felix Eldridge, president of the National Union of Students, denied there was a major problem in Australian universities.

"The vast majority of plagiarism is young students misunderstanding academic procedures and not knowing how to footnote," he said.

The University of Sydney has since updated its policy on plagiarism to make students aware they should not take information from new technologies without acknowledgment.

Last year, the University of Western Sydney investigated 39 cases of alleged plagiarism.

SOURCE : Tapei News

DISCLAIMER : Media releases are provided as is by the source mentioned and have not been edited or checked for accuracy. Any queries should be directed to the source of the article itself.

Australian universities join forces to become more competitive

Two of Australia's oldest universities are combining forces to compete with major overseas universities.

The Australian National University (ANU) in the capital, Canberra, and Sydney University have struck an agreement to share international recruiting, research resources and teaching.

The deal will enable the institutions to offer joint tertiary degrees, in which students will be allowed to move between courses at both universities.

They will also be able to apply for funding grants together.

The ANU Vice Chancellor, Ian Chub, says the agreement extends the ability of the two leading universities to provide major research, educational and international opportunities.

"No university can do all it would like to do these days on its own and so you have got to form a few strategic partnerships," he said.

SOURCE : ABC

DISCLAIMER : Media releases are provided as is by the source mentioned and have not been edited or checked for accuracy. Any queries should be directed to the source of the article itself.