Australian Racism International Student University Enrolments
Monash University is not some dodgy vocational college getting its just deserts for rorting the student visa system as part of an immigration racket. It is one of the leading eight universities that regularly figure on lists of the top-ranked institutions globally, and a centre of world-leading research. It is now laying off 300 staff and cutting $45 million from its budget, as a result of a slump in overseas student enrolments. Curtin University in Perth, another highly respected institution, is warning of an overall 30 per cent fall in enrolments by 2015 that could strip 36,000 jobs and $7 billion in revenue from the system.
One of the reasons cited by university heads is a national image problem. This is not the perception of Australia as the ‘‘dumb blonde’’ of the world, as suggested by a British branding specialist, Simon Anholt, and perhaps encouraged by the antics of Tourism Australia. This would at least look friendly, if not touting any intellectual depth. It is a resurgence of the image, particularly in Asia, of Australia as a deeply racist country.
Glyn Davis of Melbourne University says the actual and perceived racial overtones of attacks on Indian students have done huge and lingering damage in that market, with enrolments at tertiary level falling 80 to 90 per cent. The recent uproar over stupid and racist internet comments by a couple of Victorian policemen showed how fragile is the recovery from the rash of violence last year.
Fred Hilmer of the University of NSW has meanwhile returned from a tour of several major student recruitment countries in the region with the depressing assessment that we have a ‘‘brand’’ problem. This year’s election campaign with its fear-mongering about boat people and a ‘‘big Australia’’ had made people in Asia feel they were no longer welcome. Student enrolments could be the ‘‘road-kill’’ in this game of political chicken.
Good to see no lack of irony in Australia, in fact Monash University, albeit indirectly, could be blamed for the thinly veiled racist rhetoric that has become part of our political and media landscape whether it be debates about education quality, visa rorting, immigration, social cohesion, environment, population growth, employment skills etc. Why?
Because Monash University’s Centre for Population & Urban Research CPUR run by Dr. Bob Birrell encourages neo white Australia propaganda masquerading as “demographic research”, unfortunately many Australian politicians, journalists, academics etc. seem to agree with him…..