Fake Labor warning on international student damage

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday released its short-term arrivals and departures data for March 2019, which posted new record highs for international students arrivals.

As shown in the next chart, Australian education arrivals hit an all-time high 610,000 in the year to March, up a whopping 240,000 since September 2014:

Separate quarterly data from the Department of Home Affairs also shows that the stock of international students in Australia ballooned from around 300,000 in mid-2013 to around 500,000 as at the end of 2018:

Either way, international student numbers continue to surge, which means that the share of foreign students at Australia’s universities will continue to rise from already extreme levels, as illustrated in the below table:

Yesterday, Labor’s education spokesman and the women in line to become Australia’s next Education Minister, Tanya Plibersek, warned that Australia’s universities must not damage education standards in pursuit of international students:

Ms Plibersek said reports of “students being passed with lower than you would expect English proficiency really affect the reputation of all Australian higher education providers”.

“We need to be very vigilant about maintaining our standards because we don’t want to rip people off, but also we don’t want to develop a reputation as a hit and miss provider of university education,” she said…

Ms Plibersek praised international education as an important export for Australia but cautioned that emerging competition from other countries, including China itself, underlined a need to diversify source countries.

Talk about empty words. The scandals surrounding international students has been known for many years and wilfully ignored by Australia’s policy makers.

The issue burst into the spotlight in 2011 when economist Gigi Foster published damning empirical evidence proving that tertiary education standards are being lowered by high numbers of Non-English Speaking international students.

In 2014 a large-scale essay ghostwriting service targeting Chinese students made national headlines, as did whistleblowing academics, who accused their universities of contributing to systemic cheating by welcoming “functionally illiterate” international students.

In 2015, both the ABC and Fairfax revealed that international student colleges had taken cash kickbacks for helping international students and migrant workers win Australian visas using fake qualifications.

Also in 2015, Four Corners aired a report entitled “Degrees of Deception”, which documented widespread cheating and plagiarism across Australia’s universities, driven by international students.

Last year, an  ABC investigation “uncovered an abundance of international students who describe struggling to communicate effectively in English, participate in class, or complete assignments adequately”. Academics, employers and education experts also told the ABC that “English language standards are often too low or can be sidestepped via loopholes, and that students are often put in stressful classroom situations that can lead to cheating”.

In January this year, academics “inundated” Fairfax claiming they had been forced to lower education standards and pass failing international students in order to maintain numbers.

Finally, last week’s Four Corners’ expose blew the issue wide open, exposing a tertiary education system riddled with rorts and academic misconduct, brought about by universities lowering entry standards in order to push through as many full-fee paying students as possible in order to maximise profits.

Instead of empty words, Tanya Plibersek needs to task the Productivity Commission with undertaking a sweeping public review of the university system, including a detailed cost-benefit assessment of the international student trade.

Labor must take stock of the situation and not allow the problems to mushroom further out of control.

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  1. There is an unholy trinity of duplicity.

    One, Shorten says there are 2 million underemployed Aussies.

    Two, there are a million foreign workers here and 610,000 foreign “students” working full time.

    Three, some fake left wingers say “job guarantee”, as if they will be able to suddenly give full time jobs to 2 million Aussies.

    • DominicMEMBER

      That’s all very well, but in the Mickey Mouse Guide to Economics (which the Labor party is an adherent of), it clearly states that there is no link between mass immigration and stagnant wages or high levels of underemployment.

  2. Reposted in the forlorn hope that some journo hunting for copy, or TV current affairs with a gap to fill – then plagiarises it.

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

    ▪️The actual numbers of all foreign students & partners on secondary visas that are onshore in what are a number of visa categories in the ‘foreign student education’ pretext. With sources & links.

    $32 billion Export. 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. Quite clearly ‘economic activity’, with many spurious claims, most of which are not export income at all. That ‘export $$ number’ was then prorated from those 2015 numbers by the growth in foreign student numbers to now be a ‘ $32 billion export’.

    Judge for yourself.
    Original source – Deloitte 2015.

    Key takeaway.
    The report misleadingly describes the foreign student ‘economic activity’ as a ‘services export’.

    But it 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.
    Further detail on the real income & costs below.

    The numbers.
    In March 2018: 672,000 foreign students & partner across all visa categories.

    These include international student & secondary partners, post graduate & partners*, special visas, and DFAT scholarships & education visas.
    *Partners enter on a secondary visa with full work rights and no English test.
    All visa categories are heavily frauded in entry and funds.

    By visa groups.
    March 2018 International student 536,000
    March 2018 Graduate 65,000
    March 2018 DFAT / Other 12,000
    March 2018 ‘partners’ secondary visa 59,000
    Total = > 672,000

    Fact check.
    The sources to check this include VisaSure, DHA/ABF & Australian Education gov snapshots websites.
    This VisaSure link gives a simple summary & at bottom further links to the DHA detailed data.

    Last years growth rate was 5.7% (DHA quarterly report)

    ➡️ March 2019 Foreign Students & partners across all visa categories = 714,000

    During 2018-2019 there has been a 5.7% growth rate (DHA or Dept of Home Affairs quarterly reports). It could be higher as the DHA statistics lag by up to 9 months.

    March 2019: 712,000 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 & offshore sources of income.

    This is the only real ‘import’ of money to spend here to claim as payment of an ‘exported education service’

    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.

    What 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.

    And here are the details that are missing in the Deloitte Report by Economic & Social category:

    I have used the March 2018 672,000 foreign student & partner number, even tho this has now increased to 712,000.

    Costs & impacts.
    🔻1. Job theft & lowered wages for Australians.
    75% of the 672,000 (2018 number) 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 and the wider Temporary Resident group 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.
    The foreign students 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.

    The wider crisis.
    We had 2.431 million temporary residents in Australia in March 2018.

    Fact check / source.

    It has grown subsequently by 130,000 net new TR or 5.3% to now 2,561,000 as of March 2019.
    (The DHA website & quarterly tables at the bottom of the VSure page)

    2.3 million or 89% of the Temporary Resident visa holders are concentrated in Sydney & Melbourne (ABS)

    🔹Sydney pop 5.2 million.
    🔻1.3 million Temporary Residents.
    ◽️1 in 4 people.

    🔹Melbourne pop 5.0 million.
    🔻1.05 million Temporary Residents.
    ◽️1 in 5 people.

    We need a Royal Commission into our totally broken & corrupted Temporary Resident Visa system.

    And what better place to start that the fraudulent, corrupt, economically & socially damaging ‘international student industry’.

  3. At least it is something. Scummo seems perfectly happy with the current situation.

  4. Tanya pilberseak education minister? Just dont want her hubbie involved with his criminal background

    • John Howards Bowling Coach

      Somehow that one still manages to stay under the radar just like the ‘first bloke’ partner of the former PM Julia. I personally saw a photo on Facebook for his daughter smoking dope next to the pool at The Lodge. What a damn disgrace to have someone of such poor judgement jetting around representing our nation.