Outlook for Australian International Education Student Visa Immigration
No thanks to Australia’s political class (whom The Economist singles out as particularly inept), in addition to political activists on both sides masquerading as media, and an Australian society that has also become more negative and belligerent towards difference or diversity or foreigners….. makes good short term politics….
The Labor government developed and implemented an internationalisation policy in the mid 80s to attract fee paying students as our ageing population would deplete both the tax base and state financial resources through increased health care and pension commitments (ditto introduction of private pension or superannuation so it did not face budget issues in future, see Europe now…..).
Further, culturally Australia is an immigration nation with a diverse society; there is a need for immigration to shore up the tax base, and increase economies of scale in Asia an increasingly important region (while UK has already withdrawn and the US will have to inevitably pare back on defence commitments). Accordingly, the conservative Howard government innovated the concept of study to permanent residence (PR), the obvious logic being such younger candidates would be assimilated while offering skills in demand (while publicly playing tough on refugees, illegals etc.).
The responsibility for international education, education quality, student visas and immigration lies with both federal and state governments, quangoes, plus self accrediting education institutions e.g. universities, who have obviously been remiss in their responsibilities e.g. management of system, quality asssurance, student welfare, quantity versus quality etc.?
The education industry, especially the state education sector and related quangos, have reason to be coy when insiders observe unnecessary, incessant and ouright travel ) rorting (accommodation, events, allowances etc. under the guise of “marketing” ($500 million p.a.?), failed offshore ventures and ethical breaches where public servants use their positions for personal economic benefit e.g. seeding private companies with some even becoming publicly listed (and they become directors).
Meanwhile, politicians, advisors and media learnt that racism transcended political parties and a whole series of issues have been negatively conflated since the 90s via “dog whistling” e.g. Asian immigration, refugees, “boat people”, identity, infrastructure, environment, population growth, resistance to “political correctness” (meaning one can be racist?), English language skills, dodgy colleges, Islam, proxy “white Australia”, “culture wars”, influence of US based conservative Christianity etc. etc.
All these negative points have been helped or reinforced by reference to Australia’s resident experts e.g. demographer Dr. Bob “I’m not a racist but…” Birrell, Dick Smith, Tim Flannery, Kelvin Thompson, Bob Carr, Bob Brown etc. for quotes or opinions that support the negative issues related to immigrants; race or culture, environment, local jobs, insufficient infrastructure, or “neo colonialism” i.e. need for students to return to home country ….. nothing positive.
The definition of population changed in 2006 so that international students, temporary workers, dependents etc. were included, and along with net overseas migration (NOM so they are now known as immigrants too), there have been short term spikes which have used to alarm Australians for both social and political purposes e.g. “Big Australia” (when they should be used to celebrate the fact that Australia is popular?).
Australia’s incompetent politicians of both sides have now been “wedged” by these issues through “dog whistling” in the media exemplified by stronger negative rhetoric, in addition to tougher student visa and immigration laws.
Now an international student, in adddition to ever higher level of funds, has to satisfy any visa officer that they are not just a “Genuine Student”, but also a “Genuine Temporary Enrant”, i.e. they must return home after study, even though it is quite legal to apply for PR after graduation….. Both Orwellian and Kafkaesque, Australia a comfortable first world country?
The Australian media has been the biggest culprit along with politicians (with neither group reflecting Australia’s diversity) propagating negative myths, opinions, suggestions, but little if any critical analysis.
- “international students are just given visas” wrong
- “international students take Australian jobs” wrong
- “international students take Australian students’ places” wrong
- “international students get PR automatically after graduation” wrong
- “most international students apply for PR” wrong
- “international students are given free education/cars/flats/etc. etc.” wrong
- “international students &/or immigrants (from Asia) cannot learn to speak English fluently” wrong
All in all a very sad reflection of Australia and its ability to sabotage a very successful service industry which supports property market, tourism, hospitality, transport, and most importantly, our Asian and international social and business relationships.
Last wank of the “skipocracy” which would prefer a “neo white Australia” policy? (N.B. “skip” refers to Australians of Anglo/Celtic background).
Late news from The Australian:
THE federal government has dismissed a $3 billion decline in revenue from international students last year, saying “the drop was as expected, and a good thing”.
Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans said the fall was contained to vocational colleges that the government had targeted with reforms to stop “visa rorting”.
But a Deloitte’s report last year for peak group Universities Australia anticipated a worst-case scenario of just 3 per cent decline in 2011 across all education sectors.
Yesterday’s figures reveal a 20 per cent fall last year alone.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released yesterday show the growth in GDP slowed to 0.4 per cent in the December quarter from 0.8 per cent in the September quarter. More than a third of this can be attributed to losses in international education revenue.
In December, international education earned $2.8bn, down from $3.7bn a year earlier — a 26 per cent drop.
Senator Evans was “not concerned by the statistics reported and I don’t accept the criticism”.
“The fall-off has been in the lower levels of vocational courses and that reflects the government’s decision that I made when I was immigration minister to end the migration rorts. That sector was [characterised] by visa-rorting; people being sold a visa rather than an education,” he said.
Last year’s Deloitte’s report found forecasts for 2012 were for another weak year.”
The Australian Labor government really is in “la la land” claiming a 20% hit in international education services income is a good thing…..
No education institution has closed through low quality education or corruption, though many good and bad have gone bankrupt due to “panicked” government visa and immigration policy.
Again, government and regulators have avoided responsibility…..
In addition to economic stupidity a quasi “socialist” government claims that vocational education is of lesser value, implying Australian vocationally trained workers are of lesser value too, very egalitarian……
If they think the university or higher education sector will not experience any difficulties, while government wants to fund more places for Australian students, think again. New offshore commencements way down, casual or temporary staff working in international related areas already laid off, now permanents are being encouraged to accept redunancy packages and/or resign early…..