What other conclusion can you draw from recent behavior. Via SBS:
International Education Association of Australia chief executive Phil Honeywell told SBS News allowing international students back into the country could offer more than just economic benefits.
“International education is Australia’s fourth-largest export industry which generates nearly 240,000 Australian jobs and is a key revenue source for public universities and many other private education providers,” he said.
“This dynamic industry brings in close to $40 billion as well as numerous soft power diplomatic benefits.
Actually, it supports bugger all education jobs but there are wider spillovers. Even then, many of the jobs taken by the students themselves given many of the 950k also work.
The notion of soft power benefits is ridiculous today. Is the co-opting of Australian universities into a Chinese Communist Party autocratic regime that destroys pedagogical standards, persecutes and silences student free speech, does research joint-ventures that boost CCP tyranny tech, and exposes Canberra to economic coercion a soft power benefit?
These lobbies have disastrous form during COVID-19. They demanded that the borders remain open as the pandemic mushroomed, for example:
The head of Australia’s peak foreign student body [the Council of International Students Australia]… Ahmed Ademoglu, who represents 700,000 international tertiary students in Australia, said they felt “exploited” and would discourage future students from enrolling here.
International students were aggrieved in particular by the detention of Chinese students in Australian airports and the block on Chinese student visas since the travel ban was introduced on February 1, according to Mr Ademoglu…
…it’s estimated the higher education sector could lose between $6 billion and $8 billion if Chinese students do not enrol for semester one. About 100,000 students remain stranded overseas.
Phil Honeywood, chair of the reputation taskforce appointed by Mr Tehan to manage the impact of coronavirus on the education sector, said he also raised concerns over the blocked visas on Wednesday.
They campaigned beside the CCP to keep the borders open as it quietly siphoned off PPE:
China has slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decision to extend the travel ban on all non-Australians arriving from China, urging the government to “respect” the World Health Organization’s recommendations.
A statement from the Chinese Embassy in Canberra said the move to extend the initial 14-day travel ban by another week in the hopes of curbing the spread of the coronavirus was “an overreaction indeed”.
…”China is very much our number one student source country,” Mr Honeywood said. “Unfortunately, we’ve got Canada and the United Kingdom very much competitors as study destination countries and they are still very happily taking Chinese students.”
The universities themselves subverted the travel bans, without a peep from the lobbies:
The University of Melbourne has announced it will pay students up to $7500 each to cover accommodation, airfares and quarantine costs incurred during the ban.
Others, including the University of Western Sydney, Adelaide University and the Australian National University, have offered smaller packages ranging from $1500 and $5000, with some also promising to waive fees if those forced to study remotely fail their courses.
Sydney University Associate Professor, Salvatore Babones, rightly labelled the grants “morally indefensible” as it risks spreading the virus through poor, vulnerable countries like Thailand:
Associate Professor Salvatore Babones, from libertarian think-tank the Centre for Independent Studies, said it was “morally indefensible to encourage thousands of Chinese youngsters to travel at this difficult time, especially when they would be transiting through poor, vulnerable countries like Thailand”.
“It is thoroughly unethical for a university to encourage students to undertake risky, refugee-style travel in order to slip into Australia through a third country backdoor.”
Yet now it’s back to business as usual as if none of it happened.
This behaviour is beyond reprehensible, it is treasonous, in the old fashioned definition of putting the lives of local citizens at risk for those receiving financial benefit from a hostile foreign power.