Shame over foreign students in Melbourne

RACIST attacks, second-rate colleges, greedy landlords and low-paid jobs are making life a misery for many foreign students in Melbourne.

Seventeen foreign students died in Victoria in the past year from boarding home fires, murders, car crashes and drownings.

A savage assault on student taxi driver Jalvinder Singh two months ago has led to warnings by the Indian press that racist attacks in Melbourne are on the rise.
A group of landlords, including one man who owns 70 houses, are cashing in, with some charging weekly rates of $85 a head when up to 14 students live in one house.

Eight private “colleges” catering to foreign students have been forced to shut their doors in the past three years for failing to meet educational standards.

Thousands of foreign students are driving cabs or doing $5-an-hour menial jobs to afford their education.
Growing racism has resulted in attacks on foreign students. Eight Indian students had been assaulted in Melbourne in the past month. Two returned to India in fear.


Education agents take big slice of the pie from Australian Universities

According to an article written by Mark Dunn in Herald Sun (published from Melbourne) EDUCATION agents are making a fortune in commissions by recruiting foreign students for Melbourne universities and private colleges.

There are 135,000 foreign students in Melbourne and hundreds more are added each month.

Education agents, many of whom work offshore in India and China, are paid commissions — derived from student fees — of $2000 to $7000 for each additional foreign student they recruit, according to Federation of Indian Students of Australia secretary Gautam Gupta.

Mr Gupta said between 10 and 40 per cent of foreign student fees was given to agencies instead of being invested in courses and teachers. “We know some agents are charging up to 40 per cent of annual fees,” Mr Gupta said. He cited offshore agents Planet and Storm as being big players in the foreign recruitment market.

And while attractive recruitment commissions are paid, a handful of the 180 Melbourne education providers are failing to deliver on courses. Australian Government officials have deregistered eight private colleges in Melbourne for failing to meet basic standards in the past three years.

The Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development listed the deregistered facilities as:

MELBOURNE College of Technology and High School.

VICTORIA Institute of International Studies.

WORK & Training Limited.

COMPUTER Power Group.

THE Victorian Business School, trading as Victorian Business College.

CIVIL Flying School — Australian College of Aviation.

L & G Australia Hair & Beauty College.

INTERNATIONAL Business and Hospitality Institute Australia.

Apart from Computer Power Group, which went into liquidation, the other facilities were deregistered for non-compliance with one or more of 15 national standards.

Adios Paper Ticket!!!!

Come 1st June and paper tickets will gone forever! Airlines all over the world will start issuing E-Tickets only after midnight of 31st May 2008. Well, there is no need to look confused or panic when your travel agent will hand over a piece of printed paper with traveling dates etc printed on it. It is your ticket indeed from right now.

Lost it???????? No problems, it can’t be lost! You can print it yourself even on the airport just before your departure. Change your seating preferences, Order for meal of your choice and print your boarding pass and check-in from your bedroom! Yes, these are the few attractions of E-Ticketing. As for my fellow Travel Agents it is win win situation all the way. Let me show you some figures which can give you an overview of the tremendous cost cut and that will happen to travel agencies all over the world.

Electronic Ticketing benefits versus Paper Tickets – FOR Travel Agencies
Paper Ticket (PT)
Electronic Ticket (ET)

PT – Need for secure premises and provision of a safe, meeting minimum standards.
ET – Could set up as an Electronic Ticket only travel agency thereby removing the minimum requirement for a safe to store paper tickets and thus making accreditation easier.
PT – Deliver paper tickets on time to clients.
ET – Tickets can be issued up to departure time. No need to worry about providing the paper ticket, although there remains a need to provide mandatory notices to the passenger by electronic or other means.
PT – Need for knowledgeable staff to set up Prepaid Ticket Advices and check on ticket process status.
ET – No need to waste valuable time setting up Prepaid Ticket Advices as the tickets can be issued directly.
PT – Couriers or messengers may be needed to deliver tickets to customers thereby incurring additional costs.
ET – Not required any more.
PT – Changes after departure require a close relationship with the airline and the passenger who then must spend time contacting a ticket office to have a ticket changed.
ET – As the coupons are held electronically, the travel agent can perform the changes, exchange or reissue the ticket and make additional collections without requiring the passenger to waste valuable time at an airline’s office, resulting in added value services.
PT – Need for a storage facility for paper agent coupons.
ET – If audit coupons are required they may be stored electronically.
PT – Hardware, such as printers (ATB, OPTAT), needs to be maintained.
ET – Only a plain paper printer is required to print the itinerary/receipt and ticket notices.
PT – Ensure adequate stock in the office.
ET – Not required.
PT – Paper tickets can jam in the printer.
ET – Tickets are issued electronically.
PT – Customer may need to visit the travel agency for changes to their tickets
ET – Customer service is enhanced, productivity is increased and flexibility is added as all transactions can be performed without the customer needing to be present.

Hello everyone!

SecondCityWelcome to weblog. I think it is necessary to have an open space for every website such as this. Thanks to the great guys at who allowed us to do so. will be doing so many updates in the coming days and I hope that you will keep checking on with those updates. Apart from our rich content which consists of world’s top travel site’s database of Air & Hotel, SecondCity will be frequented by its’ visitors for low rates and last minute real time bookings unlike other travel sites which will just pop-up a message after getting the details of your credit card by saying “Thanks for your recent query. Our dedicated staff will look for the room of your choice and will get back to you in 48 hours” (just imagine if the request was for next day booking).

Well, we can’t criticize our friends too much after all they belong to the same business category but still such hide and seek with the customers will only do harm to the online travel business. Not much to say about the sites offering air tickets online but there are hardly any site which offers really cheap rates. Every time you search for an air ticket, you will be shown the price less taxes, fuel surcharge and some kind of service charge and when you are ready to pay for your ticket it will become almost double the price which was actually shown to you. Why can’t they just show the final price at the first instance only? Some great Indian travel sites like cleartrip, Makemytrip, Travelguru and Yatra have already showing full price on their landing pages which is a very good sign but they are only catering to the domestic Indian market but still they are really cheap options for anyone traveling within India.