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Australian University and International Education Sector Financial Crisis

Australian University and International Education Sector Financial Crisis

Immigration cuts would hit University funds. THE appalling bipartisan consensus on immigration that emerged during the federal election campaign could combine with subdued markets to produce a cash flow crisis in Australia’s universities.

The business model they adopted in response to reduced government support sees them source as much as 30 per cent of their total revenue from fee-paying students, and that could halve as immigration is choked.

And while they are not as reliant on investment income as Harvard and other big US universities, they were also hurt by the global crisis, and like Harvard, will take years to recover.

Australia’s education export industry generated revenue of $18.4 billion in the year to June 30. That will be undermined from here on if net immigration is held to about half the levels of recent years, as seems likely: there is nothing being reported from the talks Labor and the Coalition have been holding with the independents suggest that the cross-factional campaign consensus for a reduction in net immigration is being eroded.

Net immigration totalled about 277,000 last year, about half of which was students coming to Australia to study on temporary visas. These are fee paying customers for tertiary institutions, and the common view that they are taking places from locals is mistaken: the overseas students are in fact underwriting the provision of local places and services with their fees…

…Unless the market rallies, the same or worse is in prospect this year, as income from foreign students plunges. Exactly why either side of politics would let this successful export industry wither is unclear.

But the silence from Canberra is not promising.

I would argue the silence from the industry for past twenty years has not helped i.e. not explaining benefits to the Australian public, the “secretiveness” was maybe due to clear conflicts of interest that have occurred e.g. seeding of private and public companies by education personnel from universities and TAFE using public sector resources in the good years….

Media including Fairfax and Newscorp, plus politicians and their advisors are also gulity of playing the racecard and stirring up the immigration, identity and population debate abetted by “academics” such as Dr.Bob Birrell

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