Majority of Aussies want fewer international students

By Leith van Onselen

After a near doubling of international student arrivals over the past five years:

A new national survey from the University of New South Wales has found that the majority of Australians (54%) believe international student numbers should be limited. From The AFR:

The results show 54 per cent thought foreign student numbers should be limited. Strongest support was in the 18 to 34-year-old age group with nearly 62 per cent of people saying they thought international student numbers should be limited…

Is anybody surprised by these findings? The growth in international students across Australia’s universities has been extreme:

This has resulted in degraded standards from universities catering towards students with poor English skills, as revealed by three recent Australian reports (here, here and here).

Dr Cameron Murray – an economics lecturer at the University of Queensland – did a great job dissected the issue via Twitter:

A thread on my experience:

1. 90% of students in my economics masters classes are international.
2. Half of them struggle with basic English
3. When I ask in tutorials why they are doing the degree, half tell me that they “need more points for their residency visa” (1/n)
4. They tell me they choose economics because they can do the maths but don’t need to understand anything or write anything.
5. I always set written essays or reports. Students tell me that they know other students are using paid ‘essay writing’ services to pass my class (2/n)
6. If half the class can’t understand English it brings down standards. It must—unless I fail half the class.
7. Think about the incentives—a casual lecturer who costs $25,000 fails 50 students paying $250,000. Change lecturer next year or reduce intake to keep standards? (3/n)
8. It is frustrating when top international students from foreign governments/central banks come to your class, then sit next to rich Chinese (almost always Chinese) who can’t understand a word and are there to buy a visa (4/n)
9. The evidence shows the effect on standards is real.
None of this is a secret. That research is from 2011. Here’s an article from 2014:
10. Unfortunately, this reality conflicts with the widely believed myth that our immigration program brings in “high skilled” workers.
11. 350,000 international students paying $25,000+ per year to study is $9billion being pumped through our top dozen universities. (6/n)
12. Halving the number of international students would keep all the good students, boost standards for all, and remove the visa scams.
13. But this would remove $4.5billion per year of revenue to the universities. (7/n)
14. In sum, universities are being degraded so they can be used as a back-door immigration program, and no one at the senior levels of universities or major political parties want to change it.
15. It is nearly career suicide for younger academics to say anything about it (8/8)

I forgot to add that almost every student I failed or called out for plagiarism got second and third chances until they passed. After the first chance it is taken out of my hands to higher ups at the faculty…

There is nothing new in this thread. did a big investigation a few years ago. Nothing changed AFAIK. People are just used to the new reality.

More here:  and here:

As suggested by Dr Cameron Murray, the primary motivation for many international students to study in Australia is to gain backdoor permanent residency and/or work rights.

In fact, the lobby group representing international students in Australia – the Council for International Students in Australia (CISA) – point blank admitted that they come to Australia for permanent residency, not because of the quality of education on offer:

The Council for International Students in Australia said foreign potential students were attracted to Australia by the possibility of migrating here.

But Mr Dutton’s strong views on border policy and his statement that Australia should reduce its intake of migrants “where we believe it is in our national interest” would tip the balance for some would-be students…

The national president of CISA, Bijay Sapkota, said… “For people coming from low socio-economic backgrounds there has to be a value proposition. If they go home they will not get value. So there has to be a possibility of immigration.”

We already know that the majority of Australians want the immigration intake to be lowered, as revealed by the majority of recent opinion polls:

  • Australian Population Research Institute: 54% want lower immigration;
  • Newspoll: 56% want lower immigration;
  • Essential: 54% believe Australia’s population is growing too fast and 64% believe immigration is too high;
  • Lowy: 54% of people think the total number of migrants coming to Australia each year is too high;
  • Newspoll: 74% of voters support the Turnbull government’s cut of more than 10% to the annual permanent migrant intake to 163,000 last financial year;
  • CIS: 65% in the highest income decile and 77% in the lowest believe that immigration should be cut or paused until critical infrastructure has caught up;
  • ANU: Only three out of 10 Australians believe the nation needs more people.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that the majority also want international student numbers curbed, given Australia’s education system has effectively become an integral part of the immigration industry and the federal government’s ‘Big Australia’ policy.

Of course, Australia’s rent-seeking universities love the current arrangement because they get to ‘clip the ticket’ and maximise fees and profits from the flood of international students arriving in the hope of transitioning to permanent residency, and have lowered standards to entice ever greater numbers.

Vice-chancellors’ pay has exploded to an average of $1 million on the back of the student flood, while ordinary university students are stuck paying off expensive and increasingly worthless degrees, taxpayers are stuck writing-off unpayable debts, and the broader population is suffering under the never-ending population squeeze.

Policymakers must restore integrity to the university system, beginning with removing the link between international students studying at university and gaining work visas and permanent residency. Australia’s universities must no longer be used as a backdoor pathway for immigration, and must be forced to compete on quality and value alone.

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Unconventional Economist
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    • Cameron Murray will be running in the upcoming Federal Election as a Senate candidate for the Sustainable Australia party in Queensland.

      Cameron would be an excellent Senator, especially if you compare the crap the major parties put up. Dastyari, Canavan et al.

  1. I just ‘love’ how they end up on a “we just have to explain/plan better, it’s all inevitable” note:

    Professor Crossley said international students made up to 30 per cent of undergraduates at some universities and as much as 70 per cent of post graduates. At the University of New South Wales the engineering faculty had grown by 30 per cent in the last three years, mostly driven by international students.
    “Australian universities are the envy of the world. Their growth has been a huge success story. But Australia is a small country and Australians are anxious about being a little bit small in Asia.”

    “It’s like Scotland or Catalonia in Europe. People there are worried about preserving their culture during a period of globalisation. If all our international students were American we’d worry about that.”

    Yes… somehow, the Scotts and the Catalonians are just sub-humans, neanderthals which need to be better educated about the benefits of globalisation… You don’t want to be like *those* back-water hicks, now, do you? There’s a good boy! Perfesser Crossley will give you a wowy-pop if you say yes.

  2. truthisfashionable

    Highest yes responses are for those in the 18-35yo age group. Which is the same age group that has suffered the most from Uni’s focused on passing any full fee paying international student.

    Glad to see that age cohort is learning enough to connect those dots.

    Would love to see the results of the same test group if asked other questions around immigration and vibrancy.

    • Agreed – it is encouraging. Normally these Uni youngsters are blinded by some or other social justice nonsense and slavishly toe the ‘progressive’, pro-immigration line. In years gone by Uni students were the font of original (alternative) thinking. Not any more — they resemble lemmings for the most part.

    • Yes. The Masters degrees in particular have become a rolling joke. I don’t think the older age cohorts really appreciates how dumbed down the system has become.

      • I’m going to an info session at Macquarie uni for their MBA in a few weeks time. I’m interested to see what the crowd is like. I’d think for an MBA it wouldn’t be a largely Chinese/Indian amount, but you never know.

        I did my undergrad there in 2008-2011 and even back then, before the intl student boom, I had lots of classes where I was the only white person.

  3. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Those with “Real money” and power have always know that if they want to keep their Shyte they have to eliminate either poverty causing inequality or Democracy itself.
    Philosophers from Aristotle to the “founding fathers” of the US constitution knew this as do the plutocrats and their philospher/economic toadies of today.

  4. 75% of Australians wants voluntary euthanasia for decades yet they are being completely ignored by political elites

    • @doctor…of course the political elites and medical industry / professionals don’t want euthanasia…they make their money from pain and suffering. It’s cash cow that keeps on giving everybody needs medicine and care in one form or another eventually. Imagine the profit losses if 25% of the elderly population decided to end it early…These elites will never allow a referendum on euthanasia in Australia. It’s all about the money.

    • Voluntary euthanasia is a no-brainer. We should also be considering INvoluntary euthanasia for the aged and decrepit. A lot of social and economic problems would be solved if we gave people a cut off – say 90 years and/or confined to a bed.

      • Wonder if you will still feel the same if you are 90, in good health, and enjoying life. On the other hand, I have signed an advance directive specifying no life-prolonging treatment if I am incompetent. Getting it respected might be another thing.

      • …and involuntary euthanasia for immigrants to be at lower 80yo and confinement to the lounge/garden?

        Where’s Jacob and ‘Numberwang Mike’ when one is needed!?

    • Yep. What a system!

      No consequence for lying!

      Jacinda is the latest example. Before that, Gillard and Obama.

  5. When this year of financial horror plays out, the tolerance for migrants generally is going to tank. Shipping 200,000 migrants a year into a collapsing economy was always going to be a stupid move. The social costs of this mess are going to drown what is left of this ruined country.

    • yeah Western Sydney will not be pretty, already a fair bit of tension, fake Indian students being put into all the truck driving positions and then driving really badly is now openly talked about

    • There’s tension on overcrowded trains in Melbourne that are often packed with Indians speaking loudly. Lots of nudging and glaring, and people verbally being angsty too now.

    • in case of severe recession, skilled immigrants will flee as well as skilled locals who’s country of origin differ over span of 1 generation or 2.
      The unskillled of any provenance will have no choice but to stay.

      Exodus will be imited

  6. Guys China, India, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Rio – all these places have INSANE populations and everyone is being looked after perfectly well. Its just racism to say otherwise.

    Here is the ABC’s world leading expert on the environment, economics, health, education and essential services planning and infrastructure Dr Liz Allen – she has a degree in Social Sciences explaining why you are all wrong, she is right, and you are in fact just a racist toxic male incel.

    Here is some of the amazing “vibrancy” Dr Liz is inspired by – truly heart warming stuff.

    • You tards need to look at other major cities around the world to see what will happen to SydMelb. There is PLENTY of immigration/population growth to come, it is inevitable.

    • Let us all never forget that Big Liz’s PhD dissertation was on the subject of why watching TV makes kids fat. And furthermore, her laughably scanty list of peer reviewed academic publications over the years have had nothing whatsoever to do with immigration. She has actually “studied” things like why Australians like big houses and how to advance your career if you’re an academic.

      She certainly has vast expertise in that last topic, somehow boosting her public profile past any actual demographer in the country, while not doing any work as a demographer. Note that tweeting lots of shite doesn’t qualify as academic research.

      She is no more qualified to discuss immigration policy than any other punter in the street.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      That reminds me of meadowbank from a distance ……..and what are all those tanks on the roofs for …
      ….now that’s a vision splendid to aspire to .

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      That YouTube link with the netball lady. Our Gavin of the Sainted Datsuns linked a reload of it last week. Lots and lots of comments shooting her down in Hindenburg-like flames.

      Just checked. Comments have now been disabled. Geez, they’re getting more precious by the hour.

    • They disabled comments on her video. Damn. I love how we are being told about the well being of our nation has nothing to do with size. The irony of being told you’re well being isn’t linked with size, by a clearly obese woman is interesting. I wonder if she feels the same about her own weight?

      • Stay on topic Gavin, lest you weaken your position. Focus on how well this video has been constructed:

        – Notice the friendly teacher tone, which helps when explaining a difficult topic to economic knowledge-challenged students
        – Notice that all the “old” people are white, because immigrants from non-white countries obviously don’t get old and create a burden on the system
        – Notice that the phrase “…migrants will do the work locals can’t or won’t do”, omits the explanatory “for the lower level of pay”, leaving it to your imagination
        – Notice that a PhD recipient, and a self-denoted demographer, studiously ignores the link between increased immigration and increasing social inequality. You don’t have to be Karl Marx (or even Ermo) to recognise that importing lower wages drags down the pay of the proles, whilst increasing the profits of the bourgeoisie. Meanwhile, essential services come under pressure from an increased proletariat, funded by disproportionately lower taxes through bourgeoisie wealth maximisation strategies, creating a suffocating pressure on quality of life

        I suspect the size reference, accompanied by a zoom-out, is a self-deprecating parody to bring you onside with the friendly doctor.

        It is very cleverly produced, and an example of how you can perform magic in full view if you know the tricks.

  7. Interesting that the “success” of our university system is based on how much money they can generate. It used to be about the quality of education. Every time an industry is taken out of government control it gets bastardised by the dollar.

  8. The problem with democracies like Australia is they are too slow to recognise a problem and when they do, it takes too long to change the system and do something about it. Usually this isn’t a bad thing but when it comes to a silent invasion (which is what mass immigration is as over time it will destroy the culture and heritage of the exisiting populace), by the time the problem has been realised, the society may have already irrevocably changed culturally. This is a modern form of warfare and the irony is it requires the complicity of a country’s own government to enable it.

  9. Reposted here in the forlorn hope,, that some journalist or reporter searching thru MB for copy stumbles upon this to plagerize and fills a deadline & front page spread in in our trivialised & barren Print & Television Media.

    The ‘Great Australian International Student industry $32 billion Export Myth” exposed.

    There are a lot of facts here.
    If you post too many links on MB you get moderated.
    So I have given word references to those sources, as most have been posted here before & easily checked.

    The oft repeated claim:
    “The number of student visas has increased with the booming international student export industry in Australia, now worth an estimated $32 billion*.”

    *The original source being a Deloitte Access Economics study commissioned by the Australian Education & International Students lobbyists.

    ➡️It’s $32 billion of ‘economic activity’.
    That is true.
    But they are not a $32 billion ‘Export’ industry.

    The original source.
    A 2015 Deloitte Access Economics Report paid for by the Department of Australian Education. Pure paid propaganda.
    The ‘export $$ number’ has then been prorated from 2015 numbers by the growth in foreign student numbers to now be a ‘ $32 billion export’.

    Original source – Deloitte 2015.

    Key takeaway.
    The report misleadingly describes the foreign student ‘economic activity’ as a ‘services export’ but is one sided, not exposing their declared funds or actual source of income (which is primarily working illegally) or the foreign student wider social & economic cost impact to Australians.

    March 2018: 672,000 foreign students & partner across all visa categories.
    During 2018-2019 there has been a 6.7% growth rate (DHA or Dept of Home Affairs quarterly reports). It could be higher than 8% as the DHA statistics lag by up to 9 months.

    March 2019: 720,000 foreign students & partners onshore is a very conservative estimate.

    Their actual fee income paid?
    $8.2 billion Mode 2 onshore foreign students in the report, the other modes are fractional. And all the rest of the ‘economic value’ like family visits & so on added on again without cost impacts.
    See report in link Mode 2 Fees : $4.7 billion – $5.7 billion then, Page 74 footnote 24 hidden down the bottom) / And now with growth of numbers est at $8.2 billion) are matched to the costs & profit taken by providers in delivering the ‘education service’.

    Cross check on those foreign student funds & offshre sources of income. This is the only real import of money to spend here.
    It turns out the money to pay even the primary applicant student fees is EARNED HERE. The foreign students come in with under $2.4 billion in declared funds, often rorted (DHA Declared Funds Report 2017) so what’s happening is that’s just enough to pay that new entire intake first semester fees. The rest is never checked, or borrowed from an agent procurer loan debt & fee or via a paid ‘uncle sponsor’ – the money only in the bank account long enough to get the visa, then whisked out again.

    And all the rest of the money earned here.

    Many are in agent procurer loan debt, even for just those first semester fees.
    The test being that if all foreign students funds had to be declared, all fees for the 4 year course paid upfront, plus government held bonds or monitored accounts on funds their 4 visa years living expenses of $28k a year as per most country intake rules (eg China) – then almost immediately 95% of our current intake would fail that criteria.

    Human capital value.
    Deloitte adds on a very arbitrary $8.7 billion human capital value (page 49) as they get the PR etc. mWhat they fail to mention is that only 3.9% of the foreign students ever progress to a high income professional vocation (2015 A Decade On Migrant Pathways Report).
    So 96% of foreign students & partners DO NOT achieve a high income professional vocation in Australia (as a PR) or back on their home country.

    Cross check.
    The later Productivity Commission Report also found that foreign students were a very low quality unskilled & unsuitable PR intake.
    They rated them as negative human capital value compared to a more desirable highly skilled & proven human capital value intake.
    Their overall summary is that the vast bulk of foreign students are from third world countries, unskilled, not particularly young (many 30 year old adult) -and are doing very low level courses, so not a good PR intake.

    And we know that there is systemic fraud, easily cheated courses, manufactured ‘Education & courses that are readily available in their home country (often high school level in that country, but here dressed up as a certificate or diploma with no international recognition. And much of the ‘education’ is even free online globally.

    The overall view is that the foreign students are not here for the ‘education’ but to work illegally, to snag a PR, to be an anchor for chain migration, and many come in with significant foreign agent procurer debt, reinforcing their intention to work illegally in visa breach.

    The biggest issue however in the Deloitte report is their total failure to quantify the economic & social impact of the foreign student industry to Australians.

    Impacts for example that have now degraded Australian Education sector (fallen 10 places globally), created mass congestion, housing contention, and allowed almost 3/4 of a million foreign students to enter, live & work illegally, with large scale visa fraud and breach of their visa conditions & COE.

    Here are the details missing in the Deloitte Report by Economic & Social category:

    🔻1. Job theft & lowered wages for Australians.
    75% of the 672,000 foreign students work illegally (Syd Uni & UTS studies), so that’s 505,000 in visa breach stealing over 505,000 Australians jobs, & lowering wages for all other Australians.

    Those 505,000 Australian unemployed cost $9.6 billion in Australian tax funded unemployment benefit costs.
    That alone exceeds the entire foreign student fee income (and of which most of which is earned here illegally).

    So on just one simple measure, the entire foreign student industry is economically negative (fees paid v illegal work & Australians unemployment impact)

    🔻2. Australian Wages Impact.
    The evidence is that the foreign students lower wages for all Australians in both the race to the bottom in wages paid, illegal work and casualisation of employment – costing tens of billions in Australian direct wages loss, loss of permanent jobs & plus taxation loss or avoidance.

    The estimate is that they lower all Australian wages by 6.7% or $48 billion, and the indirect tax loss (from no wages growth for all Australians, so less tax paid at what would be a higher rate) – that’s a hard loss taxation impact of $16.3 billion.

    🔻3. Australian Housing Impact.
    The report is silent on the fact that the foreign students & partners are long stay to very long stay (4 to 9 years is common in COE & visa extension & churn).

    The report is also silent on the fact that the 672,000 foreign students & partners occupy at least 134,000 ex Australian dwellings at say 5 per dwelling.

    They don’t mention the concentration but that is 91% or 603,000 foreign students in just Sydney or Melbourne.

    96% of 91% of foreign students & partners rent in ‘private shared accommodation’
    (DHIA & SCC housing studies) as the Universities & colleges only provide a tiny fraction (under 3%) of Sydney or Melbourne accommodation & its high cost. Far less affordable than foreign owned & run high density cram bunk share subletting.

    At an average of $180 a week each being the widely advertised market rent in Sydney for bunkshare – that’s $6.3 billion cash rent paid, but only $3 billion in what is ‘legal occupancy’ rent able to be declared, so $3.3 billion taken as cash plus negative gearing claims of another $0.5 billion.
    Plus add on the contention / rent impacts on Australian renters of at least another $3 billion negative.
    $6 -8 billion negative.

    Plus 116,000 Australian homeless & 360,000 Australians seeking affordable housing or on housing assistance costing the Australian taxpayer $3.7 billion.

    So at least $10 billion negative impact.

    🔻4. Congestion / public infrastructure.
    They drive some 108,000 cars on international licences (RMS/Vic Roads).
    Their fines are not even collected by NSW SDRO as it’s so heavily frauded in identity fraud. No registration, checks on identity or location or address systems are in place, or links to immigration & law enforcement.

    They heavily congest our trains & public transport. As anyone can attest to. Sparking massive infrastructure projects such as Sydney Light Rail ($4 billion) that they will never pay for.
    Tens of billions lost.

    🔻5. Environmental impact.
    There is also no mention of power or water usage impact, 300,000 foreign students & partners in just Sydney alone – the Desal plant, emissions impact & all the other folly of mass concentration – costing the Australian taxpayer even billions more.

    🔻6. Visa breach/criminal activity.
    No mention that the foreign student industry is the epi-centre of crime & the foreign run vice industry, willing participants trafficked in on a student alibi, or resorting to that as their main income onshore.

    No mention of the foreign student used as ‘mules’ in mass scale foreign criminal money laundering.

    No mention of the tens billions of dirty money washed in by the foreign criminal syndicates to buy those modest Australian established dwellings via a PR proxy for the rivers of untaxed cash in migrant subletting, vice & crime.

    No mention of the Foreign students queued up at Xwing to launder back their debt repayments & remittances offshore – some $5.3 billion flowing out from their $31 billion illegally earned here.

    🔻7. Impact to Australian Education.
    No mention of the cost & social impact to Australian youth now denied an affordable quality education, as the education sector prostitutes itself as a migrant visa alibi.
    Tens of billions in immediate & long term impact to Australians.

    And it only gets worse.
    A ‘modest’ goal of 1 million foreign students in the medium term. (next 5 years)

    Deloitte Report prepared for Austrade.
    It’s a shocker.


    In summary.

    The foreign student Industry may be a $32 billion ‘yearly GDP activity’ in March 2018.

    But it is NOT an ‘Export’ at all, none of it.

    In is a massively corrupted, economically & socially negative program.

    At a very minimum $17 billion negative.
    Up to $26 billion negative.

    Each and every foreign student & their ‘partner’ – in any simple measure is at least negative $25k each in their individual economic & social impact.

    And that is just one set of our TR visa categories that are totally corrupted.

    We need a Royal Commission into this foreign student industry – and our overall totally broken & corrupted visa system.

    • Yep. The import has been relabelled an “export”! And wage rises have been relabelled “skills shortages”.

      What a disgrace.

  10. I can’t imagine what it’s like around one of the Sydney Uni’s. I’m near Curtin and once uni starts my whole area become little biejing. The local shopping centre is packed every day which i’m sure they love, but it sucks for locals trying to get a park. The traffic gets rediculous with most of the students driving 20km’s below the limit. The houses around here have all been knocked down with 2 or 3 in their place with a strip of fake grass out the front with weeds growing through it. Cars parked on the footpaths everywhere. Theres one house around the corner from me with 5 indians in it, in the garage is another 4 mattresses for everyone to see. Old Chinese walking the streets with grandkids in tow. Unbelievable to see how much it’s changed in 12 years i’ve been here. Oh, and because it’s so close to the uni, houses prices are WAY above what they should be.

    • Even old Chinese with a grandkid in tow is an issue?

      Even if that said old Chinese isn’t a burden to the health are system because he or she is just a visitor?

      What a ridiculous notion.

  11. – Count me in for fewer “international students” !!!!
    – I do support that because if the universities want that high number of students then they should pay for that themselves for the full 100% and don’t rely on tax payer money (from the state or federal government).

  12. Shut the whole thing down, for 10 years. We will need all the jobs it will release, as our economy goes down in near future (already, the housing market is deflating). We can open it later, with stricter criteria.
    OR more easy way is as follows,

    a) Entry will be given only if GRE or GMAT results with a high cut-off point.
    b) English language test will have to be passed with high cut-off point.
    c) No PR route. Have to go back to Country of Origin, after course completion.
    d) Can stay only if they can secure sponsorship for a job in their area of study.
    e) This area of study must be in high technology etc…

    In any case many (Citizens, PR, Student, guest workers etc.. a big chunk) will go back, over a period of time, as the economy slowly deflates. At one stage even people born here will go out of this country in search of jobs as Automation bites in bit by bit.