Universities’ international student addiction beggars belief

The federal government yesterday released the 2019 Financial Report for Higher Education Providers, which revealed that Australia’s universities earned over $10 billion in fees from international students in 2019 – a record 27% of their revenue:

The report also debunks the claim that the federal government has continually cut funding to universities:

That is, despite public funding growth flattening in recent years, this century has seen big increases in both public and private income for universities.

Obviously, border restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic will see international student fee revenue crash in 2020, given applications to study in Australia’ have collapsed by 80%, according to the Department of Home Affairs:

However, Australian universities’ addiction to international students should never have been allowed to reach such absurd levels, with enrolment concentrations roughly 2.5 times that of the UK and triple Canada’s:

The rabid pursuit of international student dollars by our universities eroded both pedagogical standards and free speech

It’s time Australia’s universities returned to their prime purpose of educating Australians, not acting as back door migration agents earning fat fees from people seeking to permanently live and work in Australia.

Unconventional Economist


    • Also means more customers to borrow money from Westpac to buy flats from Harry Triguboff.
      That is what international student ‘business’ is all about. It isn’t about education.

  1. wrt university “pedagogical standards ” whatever they are, it is my observation that the top 10% of students are as good as they have ever been, however the bottom 25% doesn’t belong in any respectable tertiary learning institution, they’re lazy and frankly not all that smart .
    It seems to me that the easiest way to improve our average “pedagogical standard” is to improve our initial selection criteria, as for International students, frankly who give a flying F if they get an education or get fleeced (or maybe that’s the education they really get) they’re there to pad out the numbers and make it possible for 50% of Aussies to attend university, ahh but there we are back at declining pedagogical standards. .

    • Wasn’t it Gillard that set in motion the wheels to ensure that everyone gets a university education. If you get a university education you get a higher paying job? Little did they realise if everyone as a university education then it means nothing? All you do is saddle those people who shouldn’t have gone to uni with a HECS debt just so the lefties can feel warm and fuzzy

      • Don’t forget the extra 3-5yrs out of the workforce putting you further behind. I still reckon the blokes who left yr 10, got a trade and bought a home where they grew up are way ahead of most of my school cohort.

        • +1
          All the students that left in Year 9 / 10 and got a job were in a position to buy a house when they were cheap.
          They were ahead of the students who went onto Year 11 / 12 and then 4 years at Uni by 6 years in life (i.e get a job, find a girl, get married, buy a house).

        • Arthur Schopenhauer

          +10 Those who left at the end of year 10, got a trade and headed to the mines, are way, way ahead.

        • All the tradies from my school did real well until local building collapsed and 90% went bankrupt because their grade 9 education may be good enough for writing quotes but wasn’t good enough to stop them living beyond their means and planning for the future. Same for the ones that went to the mines, 90% spuds who are now broke.

          Also, both sides of govt love the lower uni standards, they actively hide unemployed people as students until they finally can’t fail anymore and get booted out. I started my degree through a tertiary preparation program recommended to me by my govt approved job shop who got a reward payment for placing me in study, if I had known about this at the time I wouldn’t have let them set me up with it and would have done it myself so they couldn’t clip the ticket.

      • Gillard implemented a policy that most Aussie parents embraced.
        As for the students, most are still respectful enough to listen to their parents and go to uni even though they know that they don’t belong there. This decision is made easier by the fact that renting is impossible on an apprentices wage and prices to buy a beyond earthly reach, so they live at home and go to uni.
        The whole education system would be much better off if these kids had other viable options mapped out for them instead of herding them into worthless BS degrees.
        Germany is doing well in that it has maintained enough manufacturing capacity to need skilled hand-on labour, there are a lot of modern blue collar German workers / students who are doing vocational school and ending up with secure skilled jobs whereas their Aussie peers are ending up with useless degrees and HECS debt . Interestingly both systems are delivering exactly the fodder that their respective economy’s need….(BS qualifications for Aussie banks and skilled labour for German factories )

      • ‘Everyone should have access to University’ is only a problem if you’re running your University sector as a business and thus have an incentive to maximise volume at the cost of academic standards.

        We should not be turning away people who could be doctors because of arbitrary caps on student numbers, but we should absolutely be redirecting people without the ability to complete University towards other, similarly funded options like TAFE.

  2. It’s ridiculous and universities should never have been allowed to get so dependent on international students or have VCs with such massive salaries.

    Having said that universities are still government owned institutions. So as correct as it is to lay a lot of blame at the feet of VCs and their overpaid executive lackeys ultimately the buck stops with successive governments who have allowed the institutions of learning they oversee become corporate greed machines thanks to the poison of neoliberal thinking.