Politics of International Education and International Students. International education in the Anglo world has been under concerted attack by organised anti-immigration and low population growth proponents, media and politicians.
However, are people outside of international education being informed of the benefits of hosting international students and why they are important both socially and economically?
‘From Online Opinion Australia Why we need a Minister for International Education. The export of education is an Australian success story. It is now Australia’s third largest export industry (number one in Victoria). It has grown in an unplanned way, by trial and error. It is now time to make the most of Australia’s progress by creating a minister for international education.
Each international student is worth at least $40,000. Students not only pay their educational fees, but they also spend locally on accommodation, food, transport and entertainment. There is also the tourist component when the relatives come to Australia for the graduation ceremonies. Students could be particularly important for regional economies (not least given the downturn in agricultural employment opportunities).
In per capita terms, Australia has more foreign students than any other western country. But Australia’s prominence may not be due so much to Australia’s skill, as other countries not yet learning how to make the most of international education. If the United States, for example, improved its student experience (such as providing permission to do part-time work), then it could attract far more of the international student market. Australia needs to capitalize on its first-mover advantage…..
…. There is therefore a need for a “whole of government” approach. There should be one national focal point to coordinate the national government response to this industry: hence the need for a minister for international education.
The minister would coordinate policy on such matters as education, immigration, health, and public transport. The minister would also address the bewildering array of regulations that deal with this industry. The regulations are certainly needed – but they need to be rationalized.
The minister could also focus on some of the long-term issues confronting international education. For example, when one recalls how China’s involvement in manufacturing has transformed (for good or ill) the manufacturing sectors in so many other countries, it is worth speculating on when will the same impact be felt in international education? China in 2011 had 290,000 international students from 194 countries; the China steam roller in international education has already begun.
‘Does Australia want International Education? International Education in Immigration Population Politics. Does Australia want international students? Most working in or with international education, plus international students, see the sector as a great success, but why not Australians in general?
If one takes notice of news reports and reader comments from mainstream Australian media related to international education, “foreign students”, student visas, work rights, immigration outcomes and population, they are overwhelmingly negative.’
From The Pie News UK: overwhelming public support for foreign students, poll finds. Less than nine months before national elections in the UK, a new study based on opinion polls has been released showing strong public support for taking international students out of net migration figures.
The report, released by think-tank British Future and Universities UK, shows that 59% of the public says the government should not reduce international student numbers.
The study draws on a poll carried out by ICM of 2,111 people and six workshops held across the country. Not only were participants against reducing international student numbers but 75% think they should be allowed to stay and work in Britain after graduating.
Last year some 300,000 international students studied in the UK, contributing an estimated £3.4bn to local economies in off-campus expenditures including rent, food, transport and entertainment – a benefit recognised by 60% of people polled….
… Based on the public support, the report recommends that the government remove international students from any net migration target, launch an international student growth strategy, similar to those in place in other countries and backed by investment, make a renewed effort through to show convey the message that Britain welcomes international students and should enhance work opportunities for qualified graduates.
Mark Field, Conservative MP and chairman of the lobby group Conservatives for Managed Migration, has also come out in support of the report. “Politicians are rightly expected to engage with public views and anxieties about immigration, and the government has admirably done so,” he said. “It will, of course, be an important election issue for all political parties as we approach the 2015 General Election. But it is time politicians made the case that there are different types of immigration.”
From The Pie News UK: Onshore international applications twice as successful. Onshore international students in the UK applying to study at British higher education institutions are twice as likely to be accepted as those applying from overseas, new research from British strategy consultancy, The Knowledge Partnership (TKP), has revealed…..’
In the UK Population Matters, and in Australia, Sustainable Population Australia and their ‘researchers’, all informed by nativist philosophy from the USA via the John Tanton network, have had an ongoing campaign informing media and leveraging politicians, negatively. This negative campaigning uses perceived (negative) proxy issues such as national identity, population growth, immigration, refugees, international students, benefits fraud, visa fraud, etc..
The fulcrum of this campaign is the presentation of population data such as NOM Net Overseas Migration (mostly temps but suggests they are all ‘immigrants’ i.e. permanent), and making correlations without evidence that blames ‘foreigners’ for any perceived negative.
NOM is now driving much policy but if governments implement negative polices for student visas etc., the NOM will drop at the expense of international education and non EU students, with flow on effects. These negative effects could include country brand, soft diplomacy, tourism (visiting family and friends), losing out to competition, income shortfalls for institutions, closures and job losses.
Accordingly onshore recruitment may suit governments’ immigration policy, and population data, i.e. lower the NOM, but could be viewed as ‘cutting one’s nose to spite their face’?
Such policies may be interpreted as keeping non EU students out, or in Australia’s case ‘offshore’ students, while giving advantage to first world e.g. European students, who do not require or can enter on other visa types.
Marketing wise, this could lead to less diversification and to consolidation of existing source markets, while ignoring others?
For more news, information and resources about international education, students, immigration, visas and population growth click through.