Booming education exports take food from Aussie poor

Via The Fake Left:

Demand for food relief has risen by 47% on average during Covid-19, Australian charities say, with the trend driven by growing numbers of international students and casual workers asking for help.

In a report to be released on Monday, Foodbank surveyed about 500 charities once a month between April and September, as well as 1,000 Australians aged 18 and older who had experienced food insecurity in the past 12 months.

Despite the doubling of the jobseeker payment and the introduction of the jobkeeper subsidy, Foodbank said casual workers and international students were among two “newly food insecure groups emerging as a result of the pandemic”.

The report found 39% of charities providing food bank services had seen an increase in demand among international students, who are barred from access to jobseeker or jobkeeper payments.

One group, the Kingborough Family Church in Hobart, said it had seen a 20%-25% increase in demand, though members had also helped another church start a charity to assist international students.

“We would have literally doubled our demand if we had not helped them set up,” a church member told the survey.

Guardian Australia has reported on how thousands of international students have turned to foodbanks to survive, with some research suggesting as many as one in six have relied on charity for emergency food relief.

The question is, why is the Fake Left focussed on the foreign students? Here’s what the report says:

DEMAND FOR FOOD RELIEF IS UP COVID-19, and its flow on effects, have changed the face of food insecurity in Australia. The global pandemic has impacted the lives of all Australians, however, those who were already struggling before coronavirus hit felt the effects more quickly and more seriously. Prior to COVID-19, the main groups accessing food relief were families living on a low income, the unemployed, single-parent families, the homeless and people with mental illness. Since March this year, some of these groups have become even more vulnerable and are needing to access food relief more often. Young Australians are much more likely to be doing it tough as a result of COVID-19. With this generation more likely to be working casually, many have lost their source of income or had their income reduced.

Many disadvantaged people live week to week and as a result are much less likely to have safeguards against sudden changes in the external environment.

Early in the pandemic, when some Australians began panic buying and stockpiling, vulnerable Australians faced increased food insecurity as many of the basics disappeared from the shelves and they did not have the resources to stockpile themselves or purchase more expensive alternatives.

Charities have seen a significant increase in the frequency of demand for food relief. In 2019, 15% of Australians experiencing food insecurity were seeking food relief at least once a week. In 2020, this has doubled to 31%.

If the crisis is so acute, why are “1 in 6” international students, 120k mouths, being allowed to stay, dependent upon charity? They are literally taking food from the mouths of impoverished Australians.

This is completely arse backwards. International students are constantly referred to as our second-largest export. A booming sector that supposedly pours untold wealth into Australia. Below is a chart showing the dramatic rise in international student ‘exports’ using the latest available Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data:

And next is the breakdown by the three largest source nations – China ($12.1 billion), India ($5.5 billion), and Nepal ($2.6 billion):

While Australia’s international student ‘exports’ sound impressive, they are wildly exaggerated, since they include both tuition fees and expenditure while studying in Australia.

As shown in the first chart above, spending on “goods & services” by international students ($20 billion in 2018) far outweighs spending on enrolment fees ($15 billion in 2018).

A significant share of this expenditure would have been paid for via earnings by international students from within Australia. To that extent, they are no more ‘exports’ than a domestic university student that lives out of home an supports themselves via paid employment. Now, of course, as Australians struggle with record-high unemployment, rather than go home, we have this underclass of foreign students asking up charitable resources as they compete for what jobs there are.

Even worse, any money earned in Australia is often sent back home by international students also represents an import and should be deducted from the export count. On this point, there was a US$5 billion net outflow of migrant remittances from Australia in 2017, some proportion of which would have originated from international students studying in Australia:

Don’t just take my word for it. Associate Professor Salvatore Babones’ also debunked Australia’s bloated education ‘exports’ figure in a recent paper for the CIS:

International students are clearly important for Australia’s universities, but their importance to the economy as a whole is frequently overstated. One oft-quoted statistic is that educational exports have risen to become Australia’s third-largest export after iron and coal. That doesn’t really capture the full story, since exports in different sectors are reported at different levels of granularity.

Figure 5 compares the size of Australia’s educational exports to that of other major sectors from across the economy, using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Additional historical data going back to 2002 are reported in Table 5 in the Appendix. Educational exports overtook receipts from all other travel (tourism, family, and business combined) in 2008, but are still smaller than Australia’s exports of agricultural or manufactured goods. Moreover, more than half of Australia’s reported educational exports (53.7% in higher education and 57.2% for the education sector as a whole) consists not of student fees, but of goods and services bought by students while in Australia. Since this spending is at least partly generated by income that students earn from working in Australia while studying, the true net value of education exports to the Australian economy is likely lower than the headline figures reported by the ABS and DET…

The only reason international students are so popular with the government is that they enable lower public spending on universities and boost property demand. That these factors are heavily offset by externalities is deliberately ignored. In short, this is politics not national interest economics.

That said, international students still have a contract with Australia. They are here to add the economy, including having sufficient savings to support themselves, while receiving an education leg-up for future income prospects.

If they break that contact amid what is already questionable benefits for Australians and start taking food off the plates of the poor instead, then it’s time to go home.

David Llewellyn-Smith

Comments

  1. Claude BradingMEMBER

    Why are we wasting our time with minerals and all the rest of it? If spending income earned within Australia is an ‘export’, they should just count ALL domestic spending as an ‘export’. With one change of a excel spreadsheet formula we could have a major trade boom! Sounds great!

  2. Dont these so called students have to arrive with sufficient funds to support themselves ?
    Its the political leeching left that brainwash these people and the mentally weak that these fake students are some how entitled to taxpayer support while in this country. I would be happy to support them with a one way ticket back to where they came from combined with a free ban on entry to this country for ever, for violating visa conditions.

  3. Not an export.
    The foreign students are a massive social, economic and now a major bio security risk to all Australians.

    Let’s do the stocktake again, and the facts.

    We have 863,000 foreign students & partners onshore.
    785,000 are primary visa holders.
    63,000 are so called partners on a secondary visa. Another 15,000 as DFAT & special visa holders.
    (Source : DHA & Aust Education Gov)

    If we normalised our ‘foreign students’ to be like many other OECD countries…
    No partners, no work rights, their full course fee payment in advance and only genuine higher education (university level with international accreditation)…
    then our foreign student onshore population would be less than 60,000.

    Outcomes of our corrupt foreign student ‘industry’.

    The ‘Migrant Pathways A Decade On Report’ in 2015 – noted the progression of an international student into a skilled vocation with above average Australian income (in their home country or in Australia) was only 3.6%.
    That’s right – 96% fail to be anything.
    Negative human capital value.
    Here – or back in China, India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, whatever.

    What do you expect when we take third world slum & rural applicants (90% are third world unskilled mature adults) and trade a visa alibi in nonsense education for the ability to enter Australia to work and live illegally.

    That later triggered the Productivity Commission repert to state that International Students are NOT a suitable intake for Permanent Residency.

    So now if they can’t get the PR, it’s churn into other Visa categories to extend their stay, or off to the Appeals Tribunal to get another 5 years stay with full work rights.

    Their ‘Education’ is a joke.
    43% are doing stuff like Elicos (8 year old English, cartoon colouring in books and field trips for 35 year old Indian shelf stackers or end of life Asian vice workers trafficked in on this alibi. 40 enrolled in a class but only 5 attending by week 3..
    ‘Vet’ courses that are year 10 business studies or cooking – all available free online or in their home country at much lower cost.

    Nonsense dressed up as as certificates or diplomas, but still nonsense education.

    Another 39% are doing very basic low level stock higher education courses that allow minimal class time, rote answers & group assignments that are very easily cheated or sourced out : and very long breaks and work experience to maximise working in Australia.
    Many remain illiterate in English and the actual course even after 4 or 6 years extended stay.

    Again gaining no real education or qualification, just a pretext for a very long stay visa alibi to live & work illegally in visa breach, to repay agent procurer debt & to send back remittances to the family.

    Less than 18% of all foreign students are doing genuine higher education in a degree or course that is specialised, unique and has international accreditation & recognition.
    (Australia Education Gov website has the detail & it’s been posted here before)
    And zero need to be in Australia to do such nonsense courses.
    And now with the virus impact
    No funds (exposed when they lost their illegal employment)
    Not attending classes
    Not paying fees
    In blatant Visa and COe breach.
    Why isn’t every foreign student or partner being checked to see their funds, course enrolment & COe compliance status?
    Why aren’t they being rounded up and deported??

    “But” you say..

    “But, they are our 2nd largest export industry worth $36 billion, $40 billion, or some make believe figure etc here.

    No they are not.

    Their total fee income last year 2019 was less than $14 billion. This year it’s less as they are not paying for courses/ not attending.

    The money used to pay those fees?

    It was earned here in Australia.
    Often and usually illegally.
    Not an ‘Export’.

    One simple proof point in the overwhelming evidence to all this is their declared funds (Chinese & others are given an exemption to be self declared).
    Of all the 2.1 million TR in 2018, the declared funds coming in was only $2.5 billion. (DHA).

    And even these ‘declared funds’ are easily and routinely frauded. The fund money lent by the agent procurer for a free, a bank statement & declaration is provided, then the money whisked out of the account, and used for the next one.

    The foreign student will only pays the first semester & even that money will be borrowed from the foreign agent procurer to be paid back once they start working legally (limited or full work rights) or illegally.

    And then the Chinese hukou internal illegal, the Indian rural or the Nepalese enters Australia, may attend a class, then works full time or more than full time in blatant visa breach.

    Fake ID & ABN fraud, cash in hand and many Asians in vice (a legal income source for an international student even with fake Id & no tax paid..)

    Meaning that:
    75% or 647,000 foreign students work illegally. (UTS & Sydney Uni study).

    That creates a direct impact on Australians in unemployment of over 650,000 mature age, youth and Australian unskilled.

    650,000 unemployed Australians at $19k Newstart a year = $12.3 billion of taxpayer cost alone.

    That single cost impact alone is close to the total fees paid (from the foreign student money that was earned here illegally anyway).

    We then have the wages impact to the rest of Australians (14 million / $53k each -3% wages loss or an estimated $22 billion).

    We then have housing contention, the 8 Nepalese or Indians or Chinese in a 2 bed unit bunk share, paying $160 a week cash in hand (total foreign landlord rent $1,300 a week not declared or minimised / no tax) and that is forcing evicting thousands Australian renters in ‘normal occupancy’ out into the street. The universities & colleges only house 2% of the foreign students.
    The rest are living in ‘private shared accommodation’ (ABS) which is code for ex Australian modest low cost rental accomodation – now foreign owned and converted to migrant only cash in hand slum share.

    Add on tens of billions more cost impact to all other Australians in artificially high rents and contention for rental housing.

    And wonder why we have 116,000 Australian permanent homeless and another 340,000 seeking affordable housing housing.
    Another $5 billion in costs.

    Public appeals on television to buy the new Australians ‘homeless tents’ to sleep on the streets.

    Are the foreign students who created that homeless crisis or the fake colleges and foreign education ‘Institutes’ paying for any of this? No.

    Then we have Sydney/Melbourne congestion, and the massive misguided ‘infrastructure projects’ costing tens of billions.. they aren’t paying for that either.
    The Australian taxpayer is.

    Add on a totally degraded (fallen 10 places) education system and sky rocketing costs for Australians to get access to higher education. Again billions of cost and social impact.

    Then we have the foreign run employment labor services rings that are highly racist and will discriminate against any Australian or ‘legal’ person being hired, because it’s $5 a hour or cash in hand and ‘migrants’ only in third world wages for what used to be Australian jobs.

    And finally an additional proof point.

    Foreign remittances. They have exploded from $4.2 billion net outflow to over $19 billion in 2019 (World Bank foreign remittance flows).

    The prime source of foreign remittances outflows? Foreign students in Australia.

    Back to China, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan.
    A massive negative outflow as these third world foreign students repay their agent procurer debt and send back family remittances.
    They are not here for the education.
    Make it online learning back in their home country and zero would pay a fee or register for such nonsense courses.
    They are only here to live and work illegally.

    -/-

    This ‘international student’ industry is massively economically and socially destructive.

    By tens of billions of dollars.

    I would say by at least $33 billion NEGATIVE impact cost.

    And that’s a very conservative estimate, it appears to be much more.

    Each of the 865,000 foreign students and partners is costing the Australian taxpayers and Australian society at least some $35,000 in their individual impact – as soon as they walk thru immigration.

    The entire foreign student industry is rotten & corrupted from the top to the bottom.

    It needs full media exposure.

    A full crackdown on visa, funds and COe compliance.
    And over 600,000 or more deported as they are in visa, funds and COe breach. And have been from the moment they were let into Australia.

    Australians to need to wake up, and draft a mass petition the Governor General to demand a Royal Commission into this totally corrupt industry.

    It’s not an export.

    • Eye-opening analysis!

      So the education export is actually an import, with the burden of costs socialised, and the profits privatised into areas like the property ponzi, the uni upper admin enrichment program, and the wage theivery and rental cramming of those living in subservient desperation (some of whom will aspire to one day rise to the position of their masters and also become a wage stealer and rental crammer of their fellow fresh countrymen imports, and perpetuate the ponzi)

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