Salvatore Barbones: China has killed international student boom

Good stuff from one of Australia’s clearest thinkers on proposed university reforms and the end of the international student boom as China blocks new enrolments permanently:

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. bskerr2MEMBER

    But the focus will be on the middle eastern markets now to make up for it. So in future Oz will have a lot more middle eastern people living here, if you are into that.

    • Herman Milson

      Inidans and Nepalis will make up the difference, too. Dan Tehan went to India last year to sell Aussie education to them.

      • I work with a few subcontinent graduates and their studies have all been self funded through part time jobs they’ve picked up. They rely on working several part time jobs which go well beyond their 20 hour a week threshold. How will these kids continue to study in Oz without the part time jobs?

        • “How will these kids continue to study in Oz without the part time jobs?”

          I hate to disappoint you but you need a dose of realism here.. they will get the jobs, Aussie kids won’t.
          Plenty of sub-continentals and Chinese already here that would love to stack their businesses with $10 per hour coolies.
          The visa condition-breaking students happy to take those jobs, and there is nearly unlimited demand for them.
          Aussies miss out expecting to be paid a fair wage.
          The solution – keeping migrant labour out, and mandatory 10 year jail terms for knowingly employing a person at significantly below minimum wage (but neither will happen).

          • Not necessary. Just enforce jail terms (like Vic) for wage theft and the law then removes the incentive to employ people illegally.

          • Surely $10 p/h is being overpaid in these tough economic times? I wonder if the exploited labour ph cost is now lower.

            I agree that the Aussie kids will miss out on jobs

      • India and Nepal are mature markets with limited room for further growth – definitely can’t replace a large fall from China.

        • Indians and Nepalese also don’t have the big bucks to spend like the Chinese.
          There is no replacement for the Chinese at GO8 universities.

      • nexus789MEMBER

        Won’t be for a while as India is about to experience a big growth in virus infections. Unless they can find work in a high unemployment environment they won’t be able to support themselves. All good as there will be less of them.

    • For middle eastern students, Australia doesn’t have the social cache of an English degree.

      Chinese students won’t be replaced by the ME – unless its Syrian refugees.

  2. What’s the 1 minute summary, anyone?
    Is he saying that China has told students to stay home?
    I know he never really focuses on China’s geopolitical advantages of sending students here.

    • I listened to it last night while making mistakes knitting which I later on had to undo (annoying, but I was tired).
      From memory the first half was talking about the gov’s funding changes to courses and the implications (poorly thought through of course as they would not be revenue neutral). SB charaterised it as a bail out of Unis due to loss of foreign students.
      3 reasons for China killing the foreign student trade were (1) demographic, due to the timing of a mini baby boom after famine and then soft followed by hard implementation of 1 child policy China now has less and less students and can’t afford to lose 700K student a year to the overseas market, as China is already having to close down it’s own unis, (2) don’t want leakage of money out of the Chinese economy as the RMB is over valued (his point was that it wasn’t the fees that the Chinese gov was concerned about, but once you get a student os they are able to facilitate large amount of money leaving China, this is what they wanted to stop) and (3) China wanted a propaganda win, so the US and UK/Europe are unsafe due to CV and Straya is unsafe due to race issues.
      I think SB may be out of a job by next year based on his closing remarks that he’d be available for hire as an independent researcher, which is a pity. He seems like a really clear and reasoned thinker

        • He was also very clear on the fact that the sa and act trial of bringing foreign students in was immaterial. Less than 1000 and 500 each state. Also said they’d mainly be continuing but not new students. He thought continuing students would have a strong incentive to not return but do the online training from home. They’d moan about it but suck it up. He thought there’d be basically no new intake of foreign students and that there were still going to be massive job losses in the sector despite the bail out

      • he’d be available for hire as an independent researcher
        Do you think he is hoping to do some well-paid “independent” research for the Scanlan foundation?
        Oh and thanks for the summary.

      • Agree, also understand that Chinese numbers have been on a long term slide while more in country provision in English by local and/or international players has been going on for decades in PRC. The sub-continent has become more significant source and guess, brace yourselves, various African nations will too.

        Universities everywhere are on a demographic hiding i.e. ageing and declining populations, former increasing but less younger people for an older and browner world.

        • Universities everywhere are on a demographic hiding i.e. ageing and declining populations,

          Yep – jig is up. Births in India peaked roughly 19 years ago. It’s already over, even without COVID. Fewer people in Africa as a whole than India, and you can’t synchronise a whole continent’s desire for overseas education the same way as you can a country.

    • Charles MartinMEMBER

      yeah, Tanya Plibbersek is on TV at the moment bleeting about the need to continue the foreign student farce.

      • Tanya has spent the better part of her career defending the politico-housing complex and all its components. I think she would see it as being at the core of her role.

  3. In a nutshell: Neolibs are seizing the opportunity to dismantle humanities faculties, with the ostensible objective of graduating more maths, business, ag science and teaching grads.

      • “Job-ready” fields. Yes… all that is needed now are the jobs in STEM.

        Maybe it’s a supply-side punt. Create more STEM graduates, and the jobs will follow.

        Makes perfect sense

  4. as expected. Indian and Nepali students can never replace Chinese students who majority had money and were spending on real estate and in shops. Indian and Nepalis need to do food deliveries to survive.

    • adelaide_economistMEMBER

      I’d agree with their generally precarious position. All of a sudden there are 40 to 60 Indian or Nepalese student aged people lined up every morning outside the Anglicare near where I live in Adelaide CBD. That’s from none to 40 to 60 as of last week and they are there every day, presumably collecting what sort to be leftover Woolworths essential boxes.

  5. billygoatMEMBER

    Once Upon A Time I would have been angry or sad about closing of Uni noble F arts courses.
    32 years on. I know better and could care less.

  6. buttzilla 2.5D chess

    waay too many arts graduates. most of the people I studied composition with, absolutely cannot begin to compose or produce music.

  7. So does this mean it has been firmly established that STEM types all vote LNP? I would have called it 50% LNP, 20% ALP, 30% Grn/ind. But they’re hammering the Commerce and Law parasites, that’s a good thing but surely they are 90% LNP voters/whores? Can he really be doing this for the greater good? Nah..

    Besides all that, “Science” is mostly dangerous crap. So if Tepot wants to improve thing he should start with the journals and loopy Uni KPIs.

    Of course the C h i n e s e are champs at cheating

    • Know IdeaMEMBER

      It is perhaps not that STEM types vote LNP, but that the humanities faculties tend to be politicised and radicalised to the left.

  8. ceteris paribus

    I reckon the university guy in this video made one of the inane comments I have ever heard about the humanities and social sciences as taught in universities. He stated that the emphasis on epistemology, “how we know what we know” – (his illustrative context was history)- was far too dominant and diminished the teaching of the treasures of content, that are undoubtedly are there for the finding in these broad domains.
    Let me say- and no, I am not to provide a 30 page, evidence-based, epistemological justification- that the humanities and social science courses tend to turn out both some of the very brightest thinkers in our world as well as some of the biggest dopes at the very same time. A thorough grounding in epistemology separates those with the deepest understanding, judgment and wisdom over time in all matters historical, sociological, political, humanistic etc etc etc. from the reflexive ideological parrots and their favourite narratives. For example, the perception of reality, divorced from egocentricity, self-absorption, favoured personal identifications, self-interest- just to name a few barriers- is no easy task. Beyond separating fact from narrative, an epistemological mindset can also heighten and develop of finer understanding, judgment, wisdom and space for differential perspective. The young student has his whole lifetime in front of him to explore the multiple areas of humanities and the social sciences. But don’t send him off on the journey without a thorough grounding in the very best of epistemology, logic and methodology or you could let loose a noisy parrot.

    • Know IdeaMEMBER

      The jury is still out, but I have my reservations about whether humanities courses at universities are prone to teach “what to think” rather than “how to think”. My experience so far, albeit limited, is that there is not much tolerance for dissenting views.

      • ceteris paribus

        I accept your point entirely Know Idea. A lot of student parrots go on to become university teaching parrots. If you aspire to an extended teen lifestyle on campus as a tutor, lecturer etc, rather than think, write creatively and generally contribute to your community, I suggest pragmatic guile. The essence of this guile is less focus academic reflection and concentrated focus on what content does this lecturer/examiner want me to parrot back to him or her. No, not all the time but distressingly often. At university, the thinking student has the space and the responsibility to search and find his/ her own “teachers”- mentors, collaborative networks, the real treasures within the literature. If you wish to accumulate top exam marks, stick with lecturer and parrot back what he/she loves to hear.

      • ceteris paribus

        Can’t disagree with that one. Some actually read very little, much less think about what they read. Furthermore, they don’t seek out a range of mentors. The do the lectures and attempt to parrot back in assessment. It will usually get them a pass if that is all they are after at uni.

    • The head of the Australian Academy of the Humanities has slammed the report according to

      Head of the Academy of Humanities = Prof Joy Damousi. Check out her critical contributions to Australian society …
      Women come rally: socialism, communism and gender in Australia 1890–1955
      Depraved and disorderly: female convicts, sexuality and gender in colonial Australia
      Memory and Migration in the Shadow of War: Australia’s Greek Immigrants after World War II and the Greek Civil War

  9. nexus789MEMBER

    While the borders remain closed the Uni business model falls apart with looming redundancies across the board. Once that happens it will be near impossible to go back to where they were.

    • “Once that happens it will be near impossible to go back to where they were.”

      Puzzled by your use of the future tense – for many, this has already happened.

      A quote from that article some here will enjoy: “The foreign students were mostly from China where the numbers enrolling in Australian universities fell from 46,480 in April 2019 to a mere 30 in April this year. “

      • spectacular result. If China are going to cyber attack us, we should send that remaining 30 back home.

  10. Darwin is currently investing in a massive new Uni complex in the city – aimed at attracting Chinese students.

    Before C-19 the state gov wanted to get into one of Australia’s biggest income streams despite not being able to fill the existing Charles Darwin University here.

    Its a total face palm and something I hope they do a rapid rethink on.