Chinese international students strongarm universities

The aggression by Chinese international students at Australia’s universities continues to build.

In the wake of recent violence inflicted against Hong Kong students at the University of Queensland, as well as the widespread vandalism of Hong Kong Lennon boards across Australian university campuses, a Chinese student group has demanded the University of Tasmania remove pro-Hong Kong independence posters. From The ABC:

Pro-Hong Kong posters have been repeatedly torn down from the university’s Sandy Bay campus since they were put on display last week.

In a statement published online, the Tasmanian Chinese Students and Scholars Association expressed anger at the posters and stated its opposition to “any act splitting China”.

“… our student union has formally expressed strong dissatisfaction to the school about the campus insult to China and called on the school to build a clean and pure learning environment for students,” the statement, translated from Mandarin to English, said…

“… everyone has freedom of speech and we will respect different voices. However, freedom of speech does not mean malicious slander, exaggeration of facts and personal attacks.”

Australian National University Department of Pacific Affairs China expert Graeme Smith said the line urging the University of Tasmania to remove the posters was “chilling”.

“The implicit suggestion the university is responsible and should clean up these messages and effectively take them down so people can’t see them … just that line tells you they don’t get the freedom of expression thing,” Dr Smith said…

A University of Tasmania spokesman said the university was watching social media and maintaining contact with student groups and organisations, as well as other universities around Australia.

“[We] are encouraging everyone to approach the issue with respect for other members of the community, and respect for the university’s values,” the spokesman said…

Chinese students make up the bulk of the international student population at the University of Tasmania.

The institution worked hard to attract Chinese students to the state after the 2014 visit from Chinese president Xi Jinping.

In 2016, it announced it aimed to double its Chinese student population to about 2,000 people. There were about 60 students from Hong Kong in that year.

Three years later, there are about 500 Hong Kong international students at the University of Tasmania and more than 4,100 students from China.

As noted above, the University of Tasmania has become financially reliant on Chinese international students. The next chart from the Department of Education shows that international student enrolments at the University of Tasmania have grown dramatically over the past 15 years, from 1252 in 2002 to 6487 in 2017 – an increase of around 400% – with most of these students from mainland China:

The increase is even more dramatic across Australia, with university enrolments from China ballooning by 619% to 136,000 in the 15 years to 2019:

Chinese students make up around 40% of Australia’s $34 billion international student market. There are also many China-backed Confucius Institutes operating on university campuses, which are a fully funded subsidiary of China’s Ministry of Education. Their formal mission is to promote Chinese language and culture, and thus provide an uncritical view of Chinese society.

Having such a strong financial reliance on Chinese international students risks stifling freedom of expression.

There are potentially a hundred thousand Chinese students at Australian campuses that have sympathies with, and are closely monitored by, an authoritarian CCP regime. Such a deep concentration of Chinese students is likely already having a chilling impact on campus culture, as well as classroom discussions.

With the situation in Hong Kong likely to worsen, escalating conflicts at Australian universities seems inevitable. This will require stricter enforcement of democratic freedoms by our university administrators and governments.

Unconventional Economist


  1. Lol, this is just getting stupid. Now we have CCP princelings demanding this and that and our kowtowing money grubbing Uni’s and Government are obeying. They get violent if they don’t get their own way, yet claim freedom of speech for the acts they do. Then their consulate congratulates them. This is amazing to watch happen in real time. Never would I have thought this country would stoop so low.

      • @CCU … if they are so derogatory, maybe they should also stop trying to look like us, all rounded eyed and pasty skinned… so, you know, stop buying milk formula because of the western baby on the tin…

    • Chinese understanding money gives you the ability to do whatever you liike.
      and it’s working beautifully all over Asia.

  2. 40% of $34bn is not worth messing up our university system. This has to end. Our universities have to stop being prostitutes.

    • The ‘foreign student industry’ is not $34 billion as an ‘export’
      It’s $34 billion of estimated ‘economic activity onshore’

      712,000 foreign students & partners
      $36k ($700 a week) to $43.7k ($900 a week) Treasury Estimate in their ‘economic activity’ each (under half the Australian gdp per Capita average lowering that for all Australia by 6.8%) – plus a laughable $8 billion added on as a ‘human capital contribution’ when they get the PR. (Refer to the Deloitte Access Economics propaganda piece paid for by the Australian Education Dept)

      The entire TR intake – all of them, only bring in $2.4 billion in self declared or easily frauded ‘funds’ each year. (ABF / DHA TR Funding & Pathways Report)

      They only pay $8.3 billion in fees in total yearly.

      So their fee money (past the 1st semester paid for by the agent procurer loan) all that money was earned here…
      So even their ‘fee income’ is not ‘an export’.
      Earned here.

      75% of the 712,000 then work illegally in visa breach (Sydney Uni & UTS Study) – so that’s 534,000 foreign students in visa breach – displacing at least half a million Australian into being unemployed.
      (We have 1.5 million unemployed now & 1.1 million seeking work)
      So those half million Australians jobs the foreign students directly stole – that alone costs the Australian taxpayer $9.6 billion in Newstart.
      More than their entire foreign student ‘fees’ of $8.3 billion – again which was paid from money earned here.

      And the foreign students then destroy wages for millions of other Australians- costing tens of billions more.

      They send back over $9 billion in remittances or agent procurer loan debt repayments – more than their fees. Again all that is from money earned here.
      So not an export.
      Negative gdp
      Negative cash flow out
      Even at the most basic level – the entire foreign student is economically negative and socially destructive.

      Not to mention
      ▫️Mass conversion of established modest Australian housing in migrant only cash in hand subletting, ▫️degradation of our education 10 places globally, ▫️vice, crime, squalor,
      ▫️job & wages destruction,
      ▫️cheating, bribery, corruption,
      ▫️congestion & infrastructure overload,
      ▫️Environmental & social / poltical security issues,
      and all the other impacts that cost Australians tens of billions.

      -> Not an ‘export industry’ ever.

      Just blatant mass scale third world adult unskilled migrant guestworker trafficking using pretext visa alibis.

  3. Complex Carbon Unit

    Australia needs to grow balls regarding these violent brain washed bull ants, this silent invasion needs to be stopped now before it’s to late ! Oh no it’s all about money greed and now as usual !!!

  4. … HONG KONG …

    Beijing summons 300 Hong Kong leaders as lawyers back protesters | World | The Times

    Hong Kong demonstrators use laser pointers in anti-government protest – BBC News

    Hong Kong student leader arrested over laser pointers freed, as protesters challenge police over safety of tear gas, rubber bullets | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

    • You can’t have unity with too much diversity. Australia is only just beginning to find this out. What do you think Stewie?

      • Complex Carbon Unit

        Yes so true mark, the proof is in the pudding, the reality of it all will no doubt unfold over time.

      • Stewie Griffin

        Stronger and more united, this is how the EZFKA will become an economic and cultural super power, delivering its members the highest quality of life* possible just like India, Brazil, PNG, South Africa and all other multicultural nations.

        *definition of quality of life has been expanded to include vibrancy and a lower concentration of white people per head (since even though they built our nation they stink the place up)

    • I see you’re the same marketer who came up with that hipster, neck-bearded alphabet soup diverse telco Bëlong advertising campaign… personally I would’ve preferred the more classic: ‘Hello?! Can you hear me? Where the f*cking hell are you?’

  5. This will require stricter enforcement of democratic freedoms by our university administrators and governments.

    Just like how our government stuck up for Julian Assange?

    • Washington Post pentagon papers journos were patriots, Assange is a spy….

      Manning gets pardoned and Assange is locked up. No pain easier to bear than someone else’s. Our government is shamefully gutless.

  6. Our universities are now owned by busine$$.
    The Chancellor of UNSW is also the chairman of ANZ bank.
    They will do what it takes to protect the $$$$. Nothing else matters to these greed freaks.

  7. And so another freedom dies. One day citizens will wake up to find they actually live in an authoritarian / police state. At which point it’ll be too late.

    All those opposing free speech and peaceful protest on Uni campuses in this country should face immediate deportation. Sadly the VC has a million salary to maintain, so …

  8. TailorTrashMEMBER

    “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela. …

    Those “guest” Chinese “students “ here are not going to change the world …..but seem intent on changing their
    host country ……..
    Getitintaya straya !!……….the price for selling out the education system is yet to come

    • It would be rayciss to not kow-tow to our foreign guests.

      Tolerance from us … intolerance from them. Fair’s fair.

  9. Meh! Chinese doing what Chinese do….. it only becomes our problem if we make it our problem.
    What possible reasons would Australia have for getting involved?
    Maybe we think we have a solution to the problem, or maybe our hubris in even thinking we have a solution is the real problem.

    • We should make it our problem because it is our problem. CPC brown shirts should not be intimidating local students who exercise freedom of speech. It is our law, our right and privilege and it should be enforced to its full extent. If it is being abused by bully boys they be sent back to the mother country where they can kick people in the head with impunity

      • And if they ignore your pleas for civility (at least while they’re in Australia) than what are you going to do?
        This is an issue where both sides are very passionate believers in the righteousness of their actions, advice like “Just chill bro” ain’t gunna cut it.
        Maybe you should bang some heads together, but that’s kinda futile because you’ll never knock sense into either, (and why bother when both parties will gladly do the work for you…with the same outcome) So what is it that you really want to achieve?

  10. Is it really “Australia’s $34 billion international student market?”- money comes in to quickly go back out (plus some), plus puts economic pressure on other aspects of the economy (wages, job availability for locals, infrastructure costs).