Oz most expensive country for foreign students

From HSBC today:

most expensive

Australia is the most expensive country for overseas students, according to recent research by HSBC, with a combined average cost of university fees and living costs totalling more than US$38,000 per year. Despite this, Australia has remained one of the most popular destinations for international students with its stocks likely to be further boosted by the continuing fall in the Australian dollar and improved visa processing.

The HSBC research reviewed data on higher education in 13 countries and territories around the world.

According to the research, Australia’s average annual cost of US$38,000 was followed closely by the US, with total costs over US$35,000, and the UK, third with $30,000 (see full table overleaf). Graham Heunis, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for HSBC in Australia, said the strength of the Australian economy and the Australian currency has kept the cost of studying in Australia high relative to other markets. “While Australia has continued to enjoy higher economic growth than other western markets over the past five years, this has also led to a higher Australian dollar which has placed a strain on the price competitiveness of our export sectors, including education.”

The Australian education sector suffered a 12% drop in international enrolments between 2009 and 2012 but nevertheless has remained a popular destination for international students with a 2011 study showing 21% of Australia’s entire student population was from overseas, proportionately higher than Canada, UK, and the US (13%, 18% and 3 % respectively).

Heunis continued: “While Australia’s education sector has taken a hit in terms of overseas student numbers, the proportion of international students in Australia remains strong, indicating many are looking past the cost impact to other factors such as quality of life and education and proximity to home. Having withstood the cost pressure of the high Australian dollar for the past three years, Australia’s tertiary institutions could see international student numbers swing back with the falling Australian dollar.”

HSBC forecast the Australian dollar against the US dollar to drop to $0.86 in Q4 2014 compared to a high of $1.09 in mid-20124 in its recent research report, ‘HSBC Currency Outlook’, published in July 2013.

Heunis continued: “In addition, changes implemented by the Australian Government to streamline international student visa processing, introduced in 2012, should also help increase the influx of international students to Australia.”

This and tourism more generally is one the easy wins for a lower dollar, when it gets there.

Houses and Holes
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Comments

  1. That is a real shame, not that I ever hired anyone that had a degree from a Australian university visa factory. The fact is, these schools are geared up to bring in cheap foreign labor. Their qualifications are somewhat poor and are not worth a bag of peanuts.

    On top of this foreign students are a threat to anyone taking public transport and wanting rental or to buy a home. Considering the government doesn’t want to make any effort to address public transport it means that locals must share and give up their seats for people who don’t pay any taxes for their seats on over crowded and sometimes dangerous public transport.

    Second, which is even worse, they soak up real-estate taking from locals, depriving locals of a shelter, many Australians are now homeless because of cashed up foreign students. Lets face it, if there were no foreign students, if they were all stopped tomorrow there would be a lot of affordable and available accommendation. Instead, more Australians go homeless.

    Foreign students often work for 10 dollars or less an hour to make ends meet, some are just working here for the money sending it back and not doing study. Many are working for way under the legal minimum, this deprives locals of work. If you argue that they don’t want those jobs, I will simply say that anyone will take a job for the right price but with so many foreign students and so called skilled migrants pushing wages down, no Australian is stupid enough to work for those rates. The low income earners have lost the only thing they had, the advantage of bargaining when there is a shortage of labor which helps push prices up for them and keeps the wealth gap a little more balanced.

    So, it is a good thing that this country is expensive as at least in this case it helps the poor.

    • bskerr2,

      It had to be said. Well done. Too often overseas “students” use Australia’s study programs as back door immigration and work conduits.

      • notsofastMEMBER

        The mining boom is rapidly turning Australia into a dormitory country, with five large dormitory towns where the only jobs are in government or for government or building houses.

        Increasingly immigration is about people getting their right to permanency and then heading back overseas.

      • yes GSM, very true.. i wonder what will happen if they actually close the back door?…

        Here is an idea, would it possible for LNP to introduce this (We will close the back door immigration) as another point plan (i.e. increment their SIX-POINT plan to SEVEN-POINT plan?), I am sure it’s vote winner?

    • sad.. but true.

      Edit: But it is pointless to direct anger at foreign students themselves. They are merely a pawn in the great population ponzi game and trying to better themselves. Go after the rentier capitalists.

    • +1. It’s all for only 10-15 billion a year or so out of a gdp of around 1 trillion. Your average Australian gets zero benefits from it, as bskerr2 says, it actually makes life much worse.

      The only party that will address the abuse of our uni system is the Stable Population Party.

    • Being an immigrant who came here as a student, I can quite clearly say to you that if Australian study is not linked to the visas then it will be game over for the education industry in Australia. As the article points out the education here is very expensive and if you realise the difference in currency between Australian and Asian countries it is a lot of money, usually their parents life savings that are invested by them in education.

      Add to that the Australian education system is nowhere the best in the world that it justifies spending so much. I would rate it even worse than India’s B grade universities except for the physical infrastructure.

      Now the effect of stopping international students will be that the fees for domestic ones will have to go up.

      Also, i am not sure how will you solve your demographics question. Wouldn’t the young Australians be burdened over time due to ageing population ?

      I didn’t quite understand your transport issue, do you mean to say only Australians pay taxes for the bus network or are you attacking the poor students who obviously won’t be paying much in taxes while they are studying.

      I would leave out the arguing about whether international students are qualified or not. I don’t think you have enough data to back up your statement anyways.

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        “Add to that the Australian education system is nowhere the best in the world that it justifies spending so much. I would rate it even worse than India’s B grade universities except for the physical infrastructure.”
        .
        How dare you say that? This is Australia and we have the greatest and biggest things of all.
        .
        Aussie, Aussie, Aussie …

      • Add to that the Australian education system is nowhere the best in the world that it justifies spending so much. I would rate it even worse than India’s B grade universities except for the physical infrastructure.

        While I agree with your central argument, I think your statement above is a bit too much. Other than a few elite universities in SYD, MLB and BNE I think Aussie unis quality are not good. However, to say that India’s B grade unis are better than those are too much. I know Asian countries like China, India, Singapore etc have good universities but their B-grade unis are surely worse than the worst we have here in Aussie. This is based on my working experience with uni graduates from India, China and other Asian countries like Indonesia, Singapore.

      • Deo,
        I have been associated/working with universities in Australia and Overseas. I have seen examples of students from B-grade universities in India/China graduating and getting jobs in Google, Microsoft, entry into IVY league Phd programs, creating startups, etc.
        I cannot say the same thing about most universities here (barring a few as you mention). The most research intensive companies like CiSRA, Silverbrook will not touch graduates from these univ with a barge pole! The most brightest of the brightest from these univs go onto to a “better univ” as a phd student/post-doc and chart out their career via that stream or end up working as a consultants at a local IBM/Microsoft/CBA/ANZ in technical roles (i.e. installation, maintenance etc). The interesting bit is even CSIRO does not look at them favourably. Govt agencies have no choice but to look for “citizens” and even they try to pick and choose for specialist role! I am yet to see an instance of a graduate from these universities getting hired by overseas firm (in my opinion, a graduate who gets hired by an overseas firm to work overseas is commendable and worthy equating to quality!) or any news of anyone from these universities creating/running startups.

        I am happy to be proven wrong!

        disclaimer: My post may be biased towards “technological” side as that is my forte!

      • notsofastMEMBER

        calvin,

        Australia’s university education was much better and a much higher quality prior to 1996.

    • I find that there are 2 parts of this argument.

      1) Australian Education is a way for “richer boat people” to come over to Australia and settle here. They come over here and take our jobs at a lower pay, compete with the “local’s” for rental at the low end of scale pushing up the rental prices. Isn’t this the same as the first boat people, James Cook, coming over and taking the lands from aboriginals? Isn’t this the same with the Italians, the Greeks and Vietnamese? after 200 years, 70 years and 40 years, where are they now?

      2) They don’t pay any tax that is a load of rubbish! Unless they ship everything from their home country and walk everywhere, they do pay GST. If they spend 38k a year, they would have at least pay 3.8k in taxes. You could say the same thing for Tourist. They don’t “pay any tax” and they are using our public system.

      I find that the language used is offensive. If the Government allow this to happen why blame it on the “foreign students”?

    • bskerr2,

      Disclaimer: I came here as a student

      with a mere slow down in foreign students, university are facing cuts left right and centre, the restaurants/cafes around universities are cutting/closing down! There is also the talk of increasing the domestive student fees to fill the gap!

      As per quality, well barring a few handful of universities rest of them don’t even come on par with B-grade universities of China/India. So yes, please stop the foreign students from entering the below-par universities, so that they can atleast get value for their money or go elsewhere!

      you say…”no Australian is stupid enough to work for those rates”.. of course they are not stupid, when you can get dole/middle-class welfare and sit around your arse and say “they took our jerbs!”

      “..shortage of labor..” if there is enough demand and shortage of labour then labour charge will rise whatever the case (think of $40 per Hr bar tending wages at Pilbara!).. if there is no demand and shortage of labour.. there will “more shortage of labour” because of businesses closing, untill it reaches a point of no return! (think manufacturing!)…

      Are you batting for Holden workers currently? because foreign students did not take their jerbs!.. but hang on, they are right now signing off on “reduced conditions”, pay freeze.. and wait for it… word on the street says ..there has been “reduced wages” via the “reduced shifts”!!!.. voila.. damn those foreign students who pay through their nose for every freaking thing, bring tons of business for taking our jerbs!

      yea right!

      • “they took our jerbs!”

        They are welcome to our jobs. But they are taking our scarce resources like housing and transport.

        Many local people suffer as a result of immigration. Do you understand the mechanisms of suffering? bskerr2 clearly does understand.

      • >But they are taking our scarce resources like housing and transport.

        You make it sound like it was taken up?.. foreign students have to pay for it.. there is neither dole nor rent-assistance, HECS or HELP debt for them.

        People of the land have to elect a leader who in turn makes decision on governing the land. Howard was elected by people like you. Howard created the “link between visa and university”.. Blame Howard not poor foreign students! Just like Abbott’s family took advantage of “Assisted Migration Scheme”, the foreign students took/take advantage of “Student Migration” scheme!

    • Nobody is blaming the students. Australian unis did just fine without so many foreign students in the past. Clearly some sort of enquiry/Royal commission needs to occur on the unis.

      For instance given the pitiful and almost non existent quality of our “journalists” today, would it be so bad to cut those departments and send those students to tafe instead? Even if they are of any quality, they’re usually just indoctrinated into the chardonnay socialist or neo liberal hive mind, rendering them all but useless.

      I also know of a guy who did an electrical engineering degree, now he’s a linux guy. Pointless much?

      • I also know a guy who studied to be catholic priest, now canvassing to be “well-equipped” to govern an economy and a country!.. pointless much?

    • Knowing a bit about international education, and as opposed to replying to xenophobic and simply wrong claims written in the comment here, I will add my two bob’s worth.

      Many focus upon universities only, yet it is only one sector in international education, the others are high school, English language, vocational and higher education (which includes university).

      While white nativists attack international education, immigrants, population growth, visa rorting etc.. the sector remains silent for good reason. While mainstream media focused upon private English and vocational colleges, the university and TAFE sectors were largely ignored. However, from offshore the view is different, and does not show universities and TAFE in a good light.

      There was a whole generation of personnel making incessant and unnecessary travel plans, private businesses being seeded part time e.g. homestays, consulting, agency work etc., and even a publicly listed ASX emerged from the state sector with former publicly tenured personnel all being directors……

      Basically the sector became collateral damage in Australian media’ and politicians’ concerted xenophobic outlook (both left and right), and the sector has done little if anything to explain itself to Australian mainstream.

      Of late this has been introduction of a 2nd visa levy of $750, crude mechanism from present govt. to 1. Plug deficit 2. Discourage students from staying after first visa to reduce NOM.

      More details on a potted history of Australian international education, politics and xenophobia here:

      http://aiecquest.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/international-education-in-immigration-population-politics/

  2. As someone who has very good contacts with punters OS (including some who have used my returning to Australia to suss out the possibility of sending their kids to school here) I would note a couple of things.

    1. With a significant number potential parents of students Australia has already developed a reputation that its tertiary and vocational education sector is far too closely related to visas for migration and that this diminishes its academic status internationally.

    2. School fees here, particularly when considered with the on costs of supporting a kid in Australia, are exorbitant.

    • notsofastMEMBER

      “With a significant number potential parents of students Australia has already developed a reputation that its tertiary and vocational education sector is far too closely related to visas for migration and that this diminishes its academic status internationally.”

      It also actually diminishes the quality of education.

      Howards linking in 1996 of education and permanent immigration has proven to be a total and utter disaster for the Australian Universities.

      A disaster from which the Universities are yet to recover.

      Universities need to be about education and only education. They need to rise and fall on the merits of the education they offer.

      • That is correct notsofast. Hence why our univerities ranking has been dropping constantly!

      • It also actually diminishes the quality of education.

        This is actually a chicken and egg kinda dilemma.

        The Aussie unis know that they need many overseas students to support their limited budget from government (especially considering the academia workforce is famously overpaid due to union hard-bargaining) and hence, could not be bothered to effectively screen-out “bad” student candidates from overseas. This of course in turn creates problem in the education process by “dumbing-down” the whole class and graduates including the local students and make the quality reputation of the unis questionable. Afterall, even Harvard or Oxford cannot create first class graduates from third-grade student inputs who can’t spell English properly and do basic math calculation.

        So, the problem is not with the unis or the overseas students….at the end of the day, it is all about money and the population ponzy scheme. To have remedy, first you need to ensure the pollies pay attention and to do this…don’t vote for Labor or Coalition because they have become too in-sensitive to the national interests. When both major parties cannot form government, it will give them enough incentive to do better next time.

      • Surprised on MB how some seem unable to differentiate between cause and effect?

        Howards’ system was developed, implemented and managed by Australians…. that may explain issues…… it required tweaking and tightening, but it was mostly Australian incompetence.

        Many OS parents do not complain if their kids gain residency in Australia after investing minimum AUD75,000, and it’s a generalisation that international students have ruined the system…..

        Education, with fees, is about outcomes and if you are happy to spend tens of thousands on university for no utility or value, best of luck.

        The issue with universities when attracting international students was that they became greedy, aggressive (with help from Austrade) and indulged in a lot of empire building on funds from international (though most are very opaque about income and spending as Fairfax investigation many years ago found, i.e. using Pty Ltd cos).

        They were self proclaimed world champions, biggest in China (no more) etc.. but lacked a culture of quality, which is changing now. Capitalism on the way up, then socialism on the way down e.g. universities now get special privileges for visa processing, and are described as too powerful (where a Minister would not dare criticise them), but at the expense of other sectors e.g. TAFE/VET.

        Very egalitarian.

        However, propensity to recruit hard and cut corners comes from senior level when they demand certain targets to be met, then with privatisation of on campus under grad preparation e.g. Navitas on about 8 campuses, has shareholders including pensioners, the universities and super funds, who all want dividends…. (personally I think Navitas is well over valued as analysts don’t seem to see or understand the international competition).

        While Australians have been bickering amongst themselves about the “value” of international students, and some resorting to thinly veiled bigotry, the rest of the world looks on….. meanwhile all EU countries are ramping up their international education, with pathways to allow eligible candidates to stay work and take residency.

  3. Well said bskerr2. We all 100% agree with you. what a shame that our government does not care! We are sick and tired of these international students who miss-use their student visa! Just check other developed countries such as USA, UK and see how the international students live over there. For too long they had it easy here!!

    • IVY league unis, Oxford etc are class of their own. We are talking about the average unis world wide (USA, UK etc).

  4. Funny this.. I found this on the internet..

    “..Tony Abott’s family moved to Australia in September, 1960 as part of the “Assisted Passage Migration Scheme”….”

    What is the difference between “Assisted Passage Migration Scheme” and “Student immigration” ?

    In both case, there is a “party” interested in migrating, and the government of that day said “Ok, if you do this, this and this then you can migrate”.. and Tony Abott’s family did that.. and now he and his family have taken our JERBS! Made rental unaffordable for the rest of us, Now I have to travel in my own v8 car because his family has made public transport too crowded! Now, he wants to take away “our” Krudds job!.. “BABOTT..GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM!”

    • Virus, your comment shows that you don’t understand much about the situation.
      When government is failing to increase the amount of transportation and yet invites in many immigrants, it is obvious that locals must get less transportation than they otherwise would have.
      The same applies to any infrastructure and to housing land.
      And if truly skilled immigrants come here they might get given jobs ahead of locally-educated Australians. Yes, they are taking jobs at the expense of Australians. I take it you do not care about these facts.

      Also you should check your spelling more closely. You won’t be taking anyone’s JERB as a proof reader.

      • > When government is failing to increase the amount of transportation and yet invites in many immigrants,

        That is not immigrants fault that is fault of the Government, which was elected by people like you.

        > And if truly skilled immigrants come here they might get given jobs ahead of locally-educated Australians. Yes, they are taking jobs at the expense of Australians.

        That is gold!

        >You won’t be taking anyone’s JERB as a proof reader.

        Thanks Claw. You have hit the nail on the head! I now know the reason for my failure to secure the position of a proof reader.

        Most of my replies was in context of bskerr2 post denigrating foreign students and pin-pointing “them” as being the “cause”!

      • That is not immigrants fault that is fault of the Government, which was elected by people like you.

        I didn’t vote for any of them. People like me vote the way I vote! It is morons who have voted in these major parties.

        As to being the immigrants fault… fault is a complex question. Getting rid of the immigrants would partially solve the problem, and I support that, although I admit that is not the best solution.

      • Well said, Claw.

        Virus, when Tony Abbott’s family moved here in 1960, we had affordable housing, and there was plenty of room for more immigrants. Times have changed since then.

      • Virus, when Tony Abbott’s family moved here in 1960, we had affordable housing, and there was plenty of room for more immigrants. Times have changed since then.

        Housing prices aren’t a feature of migration.

        In the 1960’s, Australia had the tail end of the post-WWII population explosion, with rates similar to today.

        Sufficient resources were allocated, as well as sound policies, to ensure housing affordability.

        It’s a pretty rank scapegoat to make of immigrants, when it’s down to baby boomer greed.

        This country would be better off euthanising boomers than withholding immigration opportunities for the likes of Virus.

        Making people like him suffer, so we don’t force boomers to change their selfish ways is the wrong way to go about things.

      • >And if truly skilled immigrants come here they might get given jobs ahead of locally-educated Australians. Yes, they are taking jobs at the expense of Australians.

        This mind-set is the reason why Australia is heading into a recession. You are not entitled to a silver spoon just for coming out a vagina over a patch of soil arbitrarily called “Australia”. If barriers are setup to “protect” local jobs, businesses will simply go offshore and you will have no job anyway. Skilled migrants create jobs for unskilled locals IN Australia. No economy has ever thrived by keeping the population dumb.

  5. As someone working in the sector, we find the education component is quite sharply priced from an international perspective but it actually has to go further to subsidise housing and public transport costs. Additional levels of bureaucracy in the last 3 years has not helped.

  6. It is senseless to be xenophobic about this . Govt is correctly attempting to reduce its expenditure; a socialised higher education system is going to come at the expense of higher taxes, which this country just cannot sustain. It makes perfect sense for a country of our scale, with its requirement to increase our population, to charge relatively more skilled immigrants to pay their entry into our country via universities. You can’t blame students for the inefficiency of the transport systems run by councils and state governments. This more suggests the need for increased private provision of public transport, not a crack down on foreign students. This country must decide whether it wants to be a competitive, open country – or a small-minded, provincial socialist outpost.

    • This country must decide whether it wants to be a competitive, open country – or a small-minded, provincial socialist outpost.
      Or one of the millions of other possibilities. I welcome the discussion.

    • Why does this country have a “requirement to increase our population”. Seems like an odd statement to make and there is no such requirement unless it is essential to run a demographic ponzi scheme and destroy our environment and social fabric.

      • > Why does this country have a “requirement to increase our population”.

        Pause and think about the opposite i.e. a declining population. It’s eventual result is extinction. No-one from the crypto-fascist “stable population” movement has ever explained how they intend to fund public services when our workforce and tax base begin to shrink while pensioners live longer and longer.

      • Crypto-fascist? hahaha. What don’t you understand about the word “Stable”? Are you equally comprehension challenged by the word “Sustainable”? So your solution is to run a demographic ponzi scheme? Since most Australians don’t want high immigration (70-75% last poll I checked) isn’t this a bit undemocratic?

  7. Australia is not the most popular destination for international students. US and UK have more international students. Those who are smart and study in reputable universities either stay to contribute to the country or gain invaluable knowledge to pave their way to personal success in international arena. The thing is Australian government has no idea how to use this brain power. It prefers digging holes to find gold out of the ground and sell it to China. The universities give out tons of trash degrees to overseas students and lure them into a Ponzi scheme which pictures an illusion that there are plenty of white-collar jobs in Australia.