The CEO of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA), Phil Honeywood, has once again demanded the government allow “large numbers” of international students to enter Australia:
“If the federal government is pragmatic enough to accept the separate state government proposals for pilot intakes (of international students) then it will prove the model for Australia to have first-mover advantage come February next year,” said Mr Honeywood, who is chief executive of the International Education Association of Australia, as well as chair of the joint government-industry taskforce advising on the education sector’s response to the COVID-19 crisis…
NSW, Victorian and South Australian governments, as well as the Group of Eight universities, put forward plans to reopen Australian borders to limited numbers of overseas students in the coming months. They hope this pilot program will be a precursor to large numbers of international students arriving for the first semester next year.
Seriously, why are we still listening to this guy? His behaviour leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic was quite frankly atrocious.
When the virus was initially mushrooming, Honeywood campaigned alongside the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against travel bans:
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…
Chief executive of the International Education Association of Australia and chair of the task force aimed at managing the effects of the ban on the education sector, Phil Honeywood, told ABC Radio on Friday that Australia would suffer the greatest effects of the coronavirus travel bans, compared to other international study destinations.
“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.”
No international travel means no international students. Phil Honeywood and our universities need to understand the meaning of no international travel.
Rather than quickly returning to ‘business as usual’, COVID-19 presents a prime opportunity to rebuild the education system so that it is focused on delivering great education for our citizens first and foremost, and to stop the dropping of standards in the chase for international student dollars.
The sector’s money-obsessed business model is degrading, trashing what should only ever be places of higher learning and research.
Before the federal government even considers opening borders to international students, it should implement two fundamental reforms:
- Financial requirements should be lifted significantly to ensure that students can support themselves throughout their courses and are not dependent on paid employment; and
- English-language requirements should be raised to an advanced level.
These reforms would:
- Raise the quality of student, given most would come to Australia for the primary purpose of studying, rather than to gain backdoor immigration;
- Maximise export revenues per student, given tuition fees and living expenses would be paid for by funds from abroad, rather than money earned here;
- Limit competition in the labour market, thereby increasing opportunities for younger Australians; and
- Reduce wage theft and exploitation, given international students would no longer need to work illegally in ‘cash in hand’ jobs.
Returning to ‘business as usual’ will only further degrade entry and teaching standards, entrench CCP influence, and add capacity to an already oversupplied jobs market.
Australia should instead aim for a smaller, sustainable intake of higher quality international students that better balances costs and benefits.