Australia fools gold for international students

A new study by Vietnam-based consultancy Cturtle found that the return on investment for international students studying at Australian and other Western universities is far less than if they had studied at an Asian offshore campus:

It found that seven to 11 years after graduation, offshore campus­ graduates were earning $US4721 compared with $US3632 for returning graduates…

Shane Dillon, Cturtle chief executive and founder, told The Australian the difference in grad­uate outcomes was significant and was probably best explained by professional and personal networks that could be nurtured by those who stayed in their home country or studied nearby, such as in Singapore…

“Asia is very much a relationship-driven society. Most people get jobs through people they know. When those who go overseas return, they find they don’t know anyone. Their relationships atrophy and they struggle to get a foot in the jobs market,” Mr Dillon­ said.

The study included 16,830 response­s of graduates from eight Asian countries. It covered both undergraduate and postgraduate students and looked at six main destinations: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain, the US and Europe.

Overall, US and Canadian graduates had the most positive experience, while Australia was ranked second-lowest to Britain in terms of satisfaction with return­ on investment…

This supports MB’s long held view that Australia’s international student industry is really a migration play. That is, our tertiary institutions have become middle-men to Australia’s immigration system, effectively ‘clipping the ticket’ on those seeking to use education visas as a backdoor pathway for working rights and permanent residency.

Put another way, many international students do not come to Australia for the quality of education offered, but rather because of our generous post-study work rights, as well as our relatively easy pathway to permanent residency. By outlaying thousands to study in Australia, they dramatically increase their chances of gaining long-term migration outcomes.

The fact of the matter is that if these migration carrots were removed, and international students were required to return home at the conclusion of their studies, then the number of international students studying in Australia would collapse overnight.

Leith van Onselen


  1. They aren’t here for the education.

    “We pretend to teach them & they pretend to learn”

    There were 715,000 foreign students & partners in March 2019. (612,000 primary applicants, 64,000 so called partners with no English test full work rights! on secondary visas & 39,000 special, DFAT, trade & scholarships visas).
    The numbers are growing at 5~8% yearly..
    So at least 750,000 now.

    The majority are doing very low level education often available for free in their home country or online.
    Many of the certificates, diplomas etc have no international recognition.
    There is widespread systemic fraud, cheating, ghost colleges, false documentation.

    Typical class are say ‘English’, 8 year old child scrapbooks. 35 year old Indians & Bangla on fake ID & the abandoned mothers & bar girls of Asia on prostitution visas.

    Then we have the 14 year high school level ‘business studies’ or ‘cooking’ or childcare / early childhood educators’ dressed up as certificate or diplomas.
    All 6 week high school level courses dragged out for years. Available free online or in their own country.

    In the degrees – the flow is into the very easily cheated courses.
    And the classes organised to take as long as possible to maximise work hours & ‘breaks’ (full time work) and then ‘work experience’. Then post graduate extensions and full work rights – Allowing virtually full time employment legal & illegal.

    Take say a 3rd year accounting class in one of the University campuses , 28 in the class. 8 actually attend at best, almost zero English comprehension, a Filipino bookkeeper himself on a visa racket pretending to teach to a few dumb mutes, no one could explain a balance sheet – and most of the class not attending are Chinese & Korean hookers, Indian Uber drivers & shelf stackers who pay the admin staff to be marked off the roll or hand in an assignment they paid someone to do for them.

    Go visit a foreign student campus, see for yourself.

    The 2015 report ‘Migrant Pathways A Decade On found that only 3.6% of all foreign students achieved a professional vocation & income higher than average a decade later – in Australia or their home country.

    That’s right – 96% go on to be a mediocre nothing.
    The lowest vocational pathway outcome globally.

    Most if given a PR still remain in the foreign run migrant cash economy, vice, black market labour rings, shop work, cleaning etc and just now get the welfare as well.

    Plus the cash back from the agent procurer as once a PR they sponsor the next ones in chain migration, spousal etc in our broken & corrupted visa system.

    A year later in 2016 – the Productivity Commission came to the much the same conclusion – ‘ foreign students & partners’ are ‘not a suitable intake for PR’ being third world non assimilated & not really educated here at all.

    Exposing just what a farce this whole foreign student education industry racket is – as it prostitutes itself as migrant guestworkers trafficking alibi.

    They aren’t here to learn.
    They are only here to live & work illegally.
    To repay agent procurer debt.
    To send back remittances.
    To churn their courses, COe & visas to stay.
    To try & secure a PR and be an anchor to bring in the rest of their third world detritus – and to be our burden.

    It all needs cleaning up.
    Remove work rights completely and enforce it.
    Prostitution removed as a legal income source.
    Full course payment upfront. Right now their fees are being paid from money earned here illegally.

    It’s not an export.
    It’s an importation of heavily debt burdened third world migrant guestworkers who pay $8-15,000 in agent fees, bribes, fake doc, fake health checks on top of the visa & first semester fees – to work illegally, repay back this debt and send back remittances.
    And they are not exploited. They are willing participants in the education sham and visa fraud. They paid many thousands of dollars in bribes & fake doc / fake health checks to be a participant in the sham.

    Have them all report to the local police station every month (as they do in other countries eg China) with a monthly check of:
    funds & income sources,
    accommodation, rent paid & who to,
    their foreign remittances,
    their course attendance..

    And immediate deportation on any visa breach.

    That’s over half a million or more that would be exited.

  2. US and Canadian graduates had the most positive experience, while Australia was ranked second-lowest to Britain in terms of satisfaction with return­ on investment…

    That is strange. AUS has the opposite policies to Britain: higher unemployment rate, worse unis, more corruption, worse wage theft.

    On cue, this video appeared on my home page:

    Hope it convinces 100,000 of them to stay at home.

  3. Chairman MeowMEMBER

    Look out, Indian tradies next,
    “However, he chooses to quantify it by saying he is earning significantly more than those working behind a desk or the majority of Indian migrants who prefer to opt for driving jobs.

    “I feel there is a lack of awareness about trading, especially amongst Punjabi migrants. Most of us come here and straight away jump into driving jobs, without looking into other industries and job opportunities probably because driving a truck requires less interaction with people.

    “Without undermining driving, I’d still like to point out that although trade jobs require an equal amount of labour or perhaps more and one also has to incur overhead costs, tradies still make a lot more money than an average Australian graduate does.”

    Jimmy is just one of the hundreds of migrants who are reaping the benefits of learning a trade skill at a young age.

    • Lenny Hayes for PMMEMBER

      Is he not just following the well worn path of new migrants to Australia doing trades work (Greeks, Italians, Vietnamese) ?.

      It’s a positive story given we need more qualified tradies than baristas or UberEats delivery drivers. Should be more of it.