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Australian Higher Education Students Quality Marketing

Rights fear for “outsiders” THE world’s three million overseas students are treated as outsiders and nowhere in English-speaking countries do they enjoy comprehensive human rights, according to a new Australian study. Overseas students were really “temporary migrants”, and all nations could choose to treat them as quasi-residents, the University of Melbourne’s Simon Marginson told a recent conference in London

Agree, but has it taken 25 years for Australian university education experts and researchers to reach this conclusion? As a senior academic complained 15 years ago in the U.K., international student “cash cows” have been treated as “an expensive nuisance to be tolerated” by state sector institutions. In Australia, this has been accentuated further by condescending attitudes from personnel (often of anglo celtic stock) with racial undertones implying they (Asian students) have plenty of money and should not complain……

Survey gives students a voice. IN August, universities will be braced for a slew of embarrassing anecdotes and complaints when the National Union of Students releases the results of its first quality survey. NUS president Carla Drakeford gave as an example stories of students having to watch videos of lectures in which the camera had filmed the carpet rather than the lecturer’s slides because it had fallen over.

Begs the question as to why universities have not been doing this already,or maybe they know what the results would be? It was clear when students start paying fees, first international now domestic, they become clients who will become more demanding. Those institutions who “market” i.e. satisfy “clients” by asking then providing what they want e.g. good quality teaching, resources, experience, outcomes etc. will succeed, if not…… No surprise with more competitiion the private sector are getting ready to attract domestic university students, as is the vocational sector..

Accredit to one’s profession. Recent reports indicate a surge in the number of new private providers entering the higher education market. It’s an industry facing increasing scrutiny but, in my view, more competition can be only a good thing, bringing more alternatives and long-term benefits to students. from Neil Shilbury chief executive of Kaplan Australia.

Another prediction coming to fruition, the private sector in an even playing field can meet student or client needs as well if not better than existing university system, especially if focussed upon one area of expertise, or professional area. Will be interesting to see what public universities are going to do, apart from ask for state hand outs? Already in e.g. Hungary, there are proposals to close or sell off state intsitutuons which are not meeting education goals, having a surplus of places and personnel (whose self interest perpetuates the idea they are “job shops” for ageing baby boomers?), nor attracting students. Mergers coming with other universites, international universites, private training companies, RTOs or TAFE? Private companies such as CSL opening up fee paying science learning and research centres as they already have clear pathways to outcomes i.e. high level research employment and commercial networks internationally?

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