Chinese international students are not coming back

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that four out of five affluent Chinese families are shunning Western universities amid strained foreign relations and negative sentiment towards the COVID-19 pandemic:

After being inundated with news about the worsening coronavirus pandemic and rising tensions between China and the West for months, Beijinger Joe Gao… who runs an investment and services start-up… now prefers [his child’s education] be in an Asian country such as Singapore, instead of the United States or Australia, in case China’s relations with the West continue to deteriorate in the coming years…

Gao is not alone in his rationalisation. A large and growing number of Chinese parents are cancelling or at least suspending plans to send their children to study abroad – a strong signal that wealthy and middle-class Chinese families are becoming less interested in sending their kids to study overseas.

About 81 per cent of affluent Chinese families whose children study foreign curriculums and take foreign examinations have decided to postpone plans to send them abroad for undergraduate or graduate studies, according to a survey released last month by Babazhenbang, an education start-up with a database of more than 400 schools preparing Chinese students for overseas high schools and colleges…

Public concern among wealthy and middle-class mainland Chinese increased after the US confirmed last month that it had revoked more than 1,000 visas held by Chinese graduate students and research scholars. Escalating tensions between China and Australia have also fuelled concerns.

The two countries had been among the top overseas schooling destinations for Chinese students until recently.

Chinese student enrolments were already falling before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Annual new enrolments have fallen from a peak of 108,423 in 2018 to 79,383 as at August 2020:

Total Chinese enrolments has also fallen from a peak of 238,541 in 2019 to 216,447 as at August 2020:

Australia’s universities will obviously squeal like stuck pigs over the loss of Chinese students. In addition to being Australia’s biggest international student source, Chinese students also provide 32% of the nation’s education ‘exports’, worth $12.1 billion in 2019:

Regardless, I believe a moderation in Chinese student numbers is in the nation’s interest.

According to Associate Professor Salvatore Babones, 11% of total Australian university enrolments in 2017 were Chinese students. This is concentration of Chinese students dwarfs other advanced nations:

This extreme concentration of Chinese students is reflected by the 13 CCP-run Confucius Institutes operating at Australian universities, in addition to the erosion of English-language and teaching standards, not to mention the rising incidences of contract cheating.

Returning Chinese student numbers to sustainable levels would help safeguard ethical and pedagogical standards.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. “Chinese international students are not coming back”
    Lets take it further. All currently enrolled students still here to have their visas canceled and removed because they are spies.

  2. The Chinese were one of the few nationalities that were at max 49% male.
    Once the Chinese girls are gone the country will simply be full of desperate South Asian males. Gross.

  3. The whole scheme would more appropriatly be termed “peope trafficking” and it’s dangerous for all especially our democracy and national security

  4. Ah, but you know what would be even funnier? Drew Pavlou being enrolled back because a HECS loan is a HECS loan…

  5. Arthur Schopenhauer

    There are still foreign enrollments happening. It hasn’t slowed as much as you might think. The less Uni VC PR, the closer to the previous state things are.

  6. Filling the gap with Indian, Nepalese or Sri Lankan students will lead to a worse outcome.
    Wealthy Chinese tend to leave or start businesses. The others come to stay, and are predominantly lazy, entitled and racist. Pakistanis and Iranians tend to have a stronger work ethic.

    • Now we just need those Africans we imported to beat up on a few more Indian students and for the Indian media to pick up on it, then we’ll be in the clear…. apart from the Africans.

      • Know IdeaMEMBER

        As far as I can ascertain from woke culture: non-whites beating up non-whites is not racist.

          • Oh no – the ABC and SBS covered and reported on this issue extensively, except the Africans and crime perpetrators were referred to as Australians, while the victims were referred to as Indian students.

          • I didn’t realize it was quite that bad, but my comment still inadvertently stands then 😉

      • And have Indians being racist to Africans to kick start it off – just like they are to African students in India.

  7. my toranaMEMBER

    I think we’ll know the Chinese aren’t serious about getting themselves out of China when they start selling their property here.

    • I always wonder, if they keep their IPs, can they have the $AUD converted from rent and remitted back to CNY and import the capital again? The CNY capital controls are about outbound controls right?

  8. Charles MartinMEMBER

    It was never about the education, it was about having an option if the CCP ever went full retard.

  9. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    the situation in sydney was just absurd, hundreds of thousands of chinese students completely taking over the inner city, all the shops and restaurants in turn stocking hideous fluro clothing and making salty food

  10. Fishing72MEMBER

    The knock on effects of reduced Chinese students won’t just be limited to the environment directly adjacent to the universities.

    What will the shack owners at Era and Burning Palms in the Royal National Park do with all their extra free time now they won’t have to spend hours cleaning up the faeces and used sh1t paper piled up in and around their shacks after each weekend’s student excursions to the beach ?

    I guess the Park’s services will have to start organising the figure eight pools to be artificially seeded with litres of shampoo and body wash now the Insta crowd won’t be down for their selfies #naturalspa #washinghairgreatoutdoors.

    • Dammit I was gearing up to do that Bundeena to Otford walk. Is there any time it isn’t crowded?

    • Too true. Went for a hike to figure 8 pools 2 summers ago, first time in a decade, couldn’t believe the conga line of tourists doing the same thing. When I got to the pools there were hundreds of people there doing selfies, swimming (and pissing) in the pools. I didn’t go in the water as it was low tide and the water was disgusting. People were carrying those new beat boxes and playing their favourite music at full tilt which kind of defeats the purpose of getting out into nature.
      I spoke to a lovely aussie couple in one of the huts and they said they were sick of picking up all the rubbish, the loud music and conga line of tourist that flowed all day.

      • Fishing72MEMBER

        I was there a couple of weekends ago. A few of my mates have shacks and we’d go there quite a lot in my younger days.

        I can confirm all of the above plus the surprising addition of people taking their dogs down to the beach. Yep, if it was me I’d be looking at a massive fine for taking a dog into a friggin national park but I watched the rangers turn a bling eye to at least half a dozen mutts .

        Different strokes for different folks. And by strokes I mean strokes of the pen in the infringement notification book .

  11. Mr SquiggleMEMBER

    Interesting to note the difference in downturn in the charts between higher education and totals. It’s sort of suggesting there is more drop off in Chinese numbers in lower levels of education, eg primary schools….

    • I don’t think governments have factored that it’s not just the sheer volume of migrants, but it is the behaviour of such cohorts that is also problematic. It’s not race, but culture and the resulting negative behaviour. I have no issue with a multi-ethic Australia, but multi-cultural Australia is turning to be the pits.