Unis “dumbed down” by foreign student “bullying”

Great stuff by The Australian:

Australian university lecturers are being cowed into lowering their academic standards by “highly organised” networks of international students making co-ordinated attacks against any staff members whose assignments and examinations prove too difficult to pass.

…Academics are concerned the lowering of standards for overseas students means Australian students’ education is also suffering.

…One professor, who teaches at a respected Group of Eight university in Sydney, said the complaints were taken so seriously by university management that they had the potential to derail careers.

…Another professor at a Group of Eight university said…“It is absolutely corrupt. It’s a disgraceful system — disgraceful,” she said. “I don’t know what passes for language training in China but most of the students I see from there haven’t even the most basic English skills and can’t construct a single, clear, grammatical sentence. And these are the masters (degree) candidates.”

She said the situation had also resulted in a dramatic surge in ­instances of cheating, and that complaints to university management were routinely ignored.

…The programs are set to be one of the issues raised in the NSW government’s parliamentary inquiry into the future development of the state’s tertiary education system, which will sit for the first time on August 12.

NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham said the inquiry would look closely at the universities’ ­reliance on foreign funding.

“They dumb down their academic standards and basically tell overseas students, ‘If you can pay the money, you’ll end up with a piece of paper from our degree factory’,” Mr Latham said.

All universities approached by The Australian — including the Group of Eight institutions — denied there was a problem when it comes to international students who cannot understand what they are being taught.

Then there is this:

The social media posts quoted Elaine Pearson, the Australia director of Human Rights Watch, who warned it was time to bring attention to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Hong Kong, where new national security laws punish dissent with sentences of up to life in prison.

Ms Pearson on Tuesday accused the university of baulking under pressure.

“My recent experience suggests that the university might be more interested in damage control than an open marketplace of ideas,” she said.

She said she was shocked at the ferocity of the response from pro-Chinese Communist Party students and disappointed at the university’s feeble response.

Ms Pearson, who is also an adjunct professor at UNSW, said a 23-year-old UNSW law student from China recently told Human Rights Watch that students in their law classes were afraid to express any pro-democracy sentiment in Australia.

“If you protest against the CCP abroad, they will find people you love and hurt you to make you pay,” the student said.

“This fear is real,” said Ms Pearson.

And this:

And this:

EMBATTLED student activist Drew Pavlou has taken his fight against the University of Queensland to the Queensland Human Rights Commission, claiming his rights have been violated.

The 21-year-old suspended student has submitted a complaint claiming his rights have been breached by the university.

‘It’s an ambush’: Pavlou claims China court interference

Australian universities jumped the shark on foreign, especially Chinese, students. The universities entire role in our society is now under intense attack.  We need a royal commission to burn this poison out. The universities have:

  • collaborated on military and surveillance technologies that aid and abet CCP power and persecution;
  • consistently put dollars ahead of lives during pandemic lobbying;
  • crashed pedagogical standards for foreign kids;
  • distorted policy and recruited policymakers in a classic case of regulatory capture, and
  • persecuted whistleblowers.

These institutions have been all but ruined in terms of their values, reason for being, and licence to operate.

David Llewellyn-Smith


  1. Just another piece of the Chyna jigsaw that illustrates the obscene levels of reliance on them — booting them in the nuts is going to cause a lot of economic pain for those whose livelihoods are sustained by this insidious ponzi. No time like the present to take the pain.

  2. my sharonaMEMBER

    Are you getting any traction on this campaign? Hope so. sheesh. I encountered this marks harassment when I did my masters at the ANU 20 years ago. I couldn’t believe it: the foreign students whinged and next thing you know, all our marks were bumped up. In those days there were a lot of competent and confident Singaporean students who taught me a thing or two.
    When my sister lectured, she was not supported when she pointed out plagiarism or wanted to fail students who never attended class.

  3. PalimpsestMEMBER

    We turned Universities into businesses that are significantly ‘self-funded’ from fees because we complained about them being Ivory towers. Well they’re not ivory towers now. They’re rough, tough commercial beasts that are responsive to their client’s needs. Their clients being foreign fee paying students. If you want them to serve Australia’s interests then you have to fund them from Australia. You have to make Australia the client. They are reacting rationally to the brief we have implicitly given them. Tell an institution to make its own way in the world and cut it loose, then there are no grounds to blame the institution or its governance. And yes, we’re doing that to the CSIRO too. If you want the common good then you need to agree that’s important, and provide common funding. We did this. Us. The electorate.

    • Fed govt do have substantial blame all since Dawkins in 1980s. But universities have debauched their currency … to the point that people look for competence and not degrees when they hire graduates. Once upon a time a degree from a sandstone uni meant something. Not now. Sad state of affairs.

    • “They are reacting rationally to the brief we have implicitly given them.”

      One small problem. Can you please tell me when either of the major parties had a policy where we might have voted for the alternative vision? You are correct in your analysis about the need to pay for public and national interest, but incorrect in the assumption that this was a democratic choice. Hawke-Keating began this with the Dawkins reforms – what we have is bipartisan. It is the same with CSIRO, mass immigration etc etc – bipartisan.

      • PalimpsestMEMBER

        Perhaps we didn’t explicitly authorise this. As a society (yes, I’m blaming society) we’ve accepted the canard that all Government should be reduced, and taxes too. We should unleash the ‘natural spirits” of the market in all places. It’s been bipartisan because it is accepted dogma. But have they reacted rationally to the message we’ve given them? I feel they have. We turned them out of the house. If the hand that feeds them is China and the CCP, should we expect them not to sit up and be a “good boy”, or should they bite the hand that feeds them. Of course, we could feed them instead but that’s no longer the Australian way.

        • I totally agree. The context is important. if you want to see evidence of the madness that took hold of Australian Society, take a look at what this little “think tank” sees as so inspiring that they put it up in lights:


          That is, if you can pull yourself away from the photos of the “team” and “board” (try as the photographer may, they are deeply informative of the sad soul, limp spirit and moral cleft palate of this group of dribbling and spotty guardians of an empty temple ). Because what asinine band of ticket clippers still thinks that Ayn Rand is an intellectual hero!? FMD!

          Then realise that this outfit – described by Bob Hawke as “political troglodytes and economic lunatics” set the direction for industrial relations, bean counting, austerity and the rape of the public sector that began back in the 1980s. Then imagine that the ALP in effect agreed with them – and presumably Ayn Rand – and abandoned the need to pay for public good.

          Presently we are in a nightmare created in the 1980s by a similar breed of creepy adolescent lawyers with a sociopathic fixation on the ideology of a blithering and repressed Russian-American psycho who was the sexual fantasy of Alan Greenspan – seriously.

          Fast forward to 2020: When you have security guard clowns running a biosecurity operation contracted by the ALP, neoliberalism has reached a point higher than peak insanity. Even a self-respecting shark would not allow itself to be jumped by such a circus act of warped ideology and carnal indifference to humanity.

          This is not just a failure of Australian democracy but a bonfire of the nation’s heart and soul. Richard Pusey looks back at us all from the nation’s mirror. This is the Australia as wished for by the H.R. Nicholls Society which should by- rights change its name to the Richard Pusey Society and make him president.

  4. I’ve presented many engineering lectures to classes full of glassy-eyed slack-jawed asian students who contributed nothing and spent the entire class fiddling on their phones. I’m sure these people barely understood a word I said, and they definitely weren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. I don’t think they knew anything more at the end of the lecture than they did at the start.

    Australian tertiary education is pretty much r00ted at this time.

    • Know IdeaMEMBER

      You may be right, but I remain a little more circumspect.

      Having lectured hundreds of different gatherings in China over many years, I still find it difficult to accurately read the audience. For a Western audience it is far easier, at least for me.

  5. Polar opposite to UNSW when I studied there many (, many) years ago. I remember uni was very hard to get into, very hard to get out of with a degree, $254.00 bucks per year for union fees, of course you had to buy your books, and get this, the Chinese Malay, and Chinese Indonesian students were very clever, very hard working, and quite sociable too, not uni bar sociable.

    Back then Fail grades were handed out easily. Good Lord, there’s a flashback, 1st year Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics. Love them so much, I did them again. Learnt tonnes at the Uni bar though.

    • Amen.

      The standard undergraduate 1st year load at ANU was 8 points, 4 per each of 2 semesters. We had one whole corridor at college – about 16 blokes who cumulatively received 6 points for the whole corridor. 1 bloke got 4 points (ie. passed 2 subjects and failed 2). He earnt the nickname “the genius” and everyone else got a 1 year uni holiday – come back and try again.

      In my first year class I had guys from school who were 2 years above me at school who had failed 1st year, taken an enforced year off and were back for the 2nd go.

      Great times. And yes – pretty easy to cop a fail – the economics faculty at ANU used to have very high standards, in fact I think less than 50% made it through first year without a fail.

  6. This conflates all international students and PRC with issues of universities own making i.e. like other sectors and the imported US authoritarian/libertarian ideological zeitgeist, many Australian organisations have very autocratic management run like production lines to maximise revenue and profits for stakeholders (religiously), while minimising costs and dissonance from lower level personnel at the ‘coal face’.

    Rather than blame China, international students etc. all sectors in Australia need empowered work forces, strong union representation and scrutiny of (and improving) processes and culture; dumbing down universities and education is an aim of US libertarian ideology that infects the LNP, IPA and Sinophobes.