Vice-chancellors launch inquiry into why corruption isn’t working

Australia’s university chancellors have ordered a review into its peak lobby group – Universities Australia – because of its lack of success in influencing the Morrison Government:

Education consultancy PhillipsKPA will assess Universities Australia’s core functions — and its relationships with key cabinet ministers and top public servants — handing its findings to vice-chancellors next year.

The review comes after the sector failed in its attempts to gain access to pandemic financial support payments such as JobKeeper, secure backing for foreign students to return to Australia, stop a new funding regime that will cut overall commonwealth contributions, and avoid having their deals with foreign powers being subject to vetos from Canberra.

University chancellors should take a long hard look in the mirror at their own poor conduct.

The whole university sector has become commercialised and centred on maximising revenue and fattening administrator pay packets over teaching quality. It has shifted from higher learning to higher earning.

Wage theft is endemic across universities. Front-line university staff have been gutted and entry and teaching standards trashed, with the ratio of students to academic staff ballooning:

While senior management earn fat paychecks, entry and teaching standards have been gutted to accommodate international students, cheating by these students is rife, Chinese influence runs rampant, free speech has been gutted, and universities’ casualised workforce are underpaid and bullied into passing low performing foreign students.

Meanwhile, domestic students have also been forced to carry Non-English Speaking Backgrounds (NESB) students through their courses via group assignments. These group assignments pair local students with international students, often resulting in domestic students doing most of the work, effectively becoming unpaid tutors, and cross-subsidising the marks of international students.

The whole education industry has morphed into an immigration scam, with universities acting more like migration agents than educators.

The universities’ behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic has also been deplorable, displaying classic moral hazard behaviour throughout.

In February, universities lobbied the federal government to lift its travel ban on China. Then it paid for Chinese students to circumvent travel bans by travelling into Australia via third countries like Thailand and Dubai, in turn helping to spread the virus. They lobbied hard for students to jump the arrival queue via oxymoronic ‘safe corridors’ hotel quarantine. Now they want Australia to stress its hotel quarantine system to allow students to return before actual Australians.

Thank goodness the federal government did not kowtow to universities’ pressure to open Australia’s international border. Otherwise we would have had an even bigger virus threat on our hands.

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

Rather than crying over their falling influence, chancellors should clean-up their own back yards.

Running low-quality degree factories was never in the national interest. The federal government should order a royal commission into the whole stinking university edifice.

Unconventional Economist
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Comments

    • Last time I sussed any data about 70% of academic staff were on temporary contracts too – including loads of professors.

      I wonder what the charts of administrative to academic staff and permanent to temporary staff would look like too

  1. Didn’t the government green light and encourage the edumigration scam? They must have.
    First they giveth…

      • Is that the ANU door made from mirror glass so that wicked witches can ponder who is the biggest neoliberal of them all?

  2. Needs a Royal Commission.

    MACROBUSINESS should led a community petition to the Governor General, bypassing the major political parties who perpetuate this foreign student third world migrants guestworker racket.

    800,000 foreign students & partners onshore..

    Invariably third world unskilled on pretext visas, fake documents, falsified funds, fraudulent foreign agent doctor health checks..

    Only here to live and work illegally
    To repay their third world agent procurer debt
    To send back remittances

    Stealing some 800,000 Australian jobs / at least.
    Costing Australia some $22 billion in welfare support – almost twice the ‘foreign student fees’ paid.
    (Which are paid from illegal income earned here so that is not an ‘export’ )
    Lowering wages for all other Australians by factors of -6 to -8% as the foreign student & partner influx decimated youth and mature age wages, casualisation, black market cash economy.
    Are they an export?
    No, even on the most simplistic primary measures the foreign student and partners create tens of billions of negative economic and social impact.

    As example.

    Occupying some 150,000 modest Australian dwellings now foreign owned and converted to migrant only cash in hand bunk slum share.
    (Where do people think they all live?)

    800,000 foreign students and partners in 150,000 modest ex Australian dwellings (say 5.5 per dwelling at $180 a week each for the bunk, bag of rice, wifi and toilet roll deal) = $1,000 a week cash for the Chinese or Indian landlord..

    Directly displaying over 360,000 Australians (2.4 per dwelling & a total of $500 a week) who got kicked out to live on the street.. (126,000 Australian permanent homeless and another 340,000 Australians without affordable housing)
    There is your housing crisis.
    And another $4 billion in Australian taxpayer cost directly attributable to the foreign student racket.

    The foreign students & partners are the epicentre of foreign run vice & crime, drugs and as mules for money laundering.
    Over 50,000 Asian prostitutes trafficked in as foreign students. A legal & anonymous income source in NSW. No health checks. No tax paid.

    The rest working illegally.
    Stealing Australian jobs
    Destroying Australia jobs.
    If they couldn’t work legally or illegally they would be here. They are not here for the education which is a laughing stock,, having fallen 12 places globally.

    Bringing their third world congestion, filth squalor

    Destroying our education system for Australians as it sold itself out as a migrant guestworker visa alibi.

    And an ‘foreign student industry’ with a vocational success rate of 3.4%

    That’s right / as per the ‘Migrant Pathways A Decade On’ report and then the later productivity commission report noted :.

    only 3.4% of these foreign students after a decade has a vocation or income higher than the Australian or their home country average.

    96% of the entire foreign student cohort fail to be anything & either continue here as third world migrant underclass now with a PR / unemployed / useless and a burden..
    Or if they go back, an equally useless in their home country.
    Exposing just what a farce this entire foreign student & partner racket is.

    A Royal Commission is long overdue.

    It will need to be forced by the public in a petition as neither political party will do it.
    It will have massive support.
    The Royal Commission then has the authority to forge legislation to shut down the foreign student & partner third world migrant trafficking racket.

    • “The Royal Commission then has the authority to forge legislation”
      This is NOT what a royal commision does. What a royal commission does is give witnesses exemption from use of their testimony in a future court case. Other than that you may as well get a couple of blokes down the pub to write a report for ya, it’ll have just as much legal standing.

      • A Royal Commission has enormous authority to force regulatory change. Across what may be multiple terms or opposing political parties in government.
        That’s the point of a Royal Commission – to have full authority to inspect and get the full evidence and facts and then make recommendations.

        https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1920a/20bd017

        The point more is how to get that started.

        Neither of the current major political parties will call for a Royal Commission into the foreign student & partner migrant guestworker trafficking industry.

        So it needs to be by direct public petition to the Governor General. That’s the mechanism to bypass the vested political and lobbyist interests to not do anything.

        The actual changes required actually don’t need regulatory or even legal change.

        And some are already law, regulatory or conditions of compliance & entry (COe) that aren’t enforced.

        They can be dealt with by the Minister of immigration.
        And DFAT for the visas they also issue.

        For example:
        👉🏾Mandatory onshore Australian certified doctor health checks to detect and then deport the Chinese, North & South Asians, Nepalese. Pakistani. Indians, Bangladeshi who carry many variants of hepatitis, TB, NDM-1 and other communicable disease.
        That expels about 200,000 of current foreign students or partners who have entered Australia with falsified foreign agent doctor health documents or weren’t never tested for basic communicable diseases.

        👉🏾Validation of funds – monthly. not ‘self declared’ or once off / borrowed from an loan agent procurer, whisked in and out of a bank account as a falsified declaration.
        👉🏾Full payment of the full intended course upfront, not just the 1st semester, then enter the country, cancel the course, live and work illegally undetected for years and then go on the Protection visa queue to stay when caught.
        That expels at least another 300,000.

        👉🏾No vice work or prostitution or living off the proceeds of vice – we have over 50,000 Asian prostitutes on ‘student visas’ in what is a legal untaxed and anonymous source of income. And another 30,000 or so that live off the proceeds of vice.
        Say 80,000 exited or else have a sex worker visa for that with tax paid and health checks for the sex worker rather than using the foreign student or partner visa as cover.

        👉🏾No partners on a secondary visa at all, that’s another
        60,000 gone.

        👉🏾No work rights – none
        👉🏾No ‘English courses’ or vet onshore.

        That removes many of the rest.

        👉🏾Visa only to the paid course duration.

        👉🏾Reporting to the local police station on where they live, activities, funds and sources of income. (as per China and other countries)

        As said – some of this is already part of their current visa or COe – or could be with very minor changes in visa rules & enforcement.

        It would see the current 800,000 plus third world migrant guestworkers on pretext foreign student or foreign student partner secondary visas reduced to under 50,000 genuine fee paying post grad level participants.

        And that’s what’s needed.

      • Epi-centre of the Asian criminal run vice industry here.

        Over 50,000 at least onshore – trafficked in as foreign students or partners.
        And a far chunk more who are their pimps or live off the proceeds of vice.

        In addition tens of thousands who come in on a tourist or visitor visa or the many other visa categories that are exploited.

        Currently vice work by a foreign student or partner on a temporary visa is:
        A Legal source of income in NSW
        They are allowed anonymous identities
        Cash in hand – literally no tax is paid
        No mandatory health checks.

        Most are end of life north Asian hookers (30-40 year old or more) from China, Korea, Japan who are trafficked in once they are past their use by date and can’t be sold in Asia.
        The others are mostly from south east Asia – abandoned mothers of isan etc who feed the village in remittances sent back, Malay, Indo, Filipino bar girls.
        And then some South America, Middle East, African or Indians etc but a lower Australian appetite for that.

        It’s an industry & the trafficking of vice workers in on temporary or visitor visas is their stock in trade.

        Given the demand for these vice workers – the sensible thing would be to legitimise it.

        Have some age limits and beauty criteria to remove the old end of life third world uglies.

        And convert them all to a proper vice worker visa with proper health checks, tax paid on income.
        And cut out the course fees for ‘English’ or ‘business studies’ as the uni’s & colleges clip the ticket in exchange for a pretext student visa.
        They are onshore only for the purposes of vice work to repay debt to their foreign agent procurers & to send back remittances.

    • SupperannuationMEMBER

      So true. The banks told Turnbull to do the RC to limit the damage. Labor aren’t going to push for a University Royal Commission and only a few people in LNP would be open to it.

  3. They have merely done what the governments of the day wanted, find alternate sources of funding and provide places for as many young Australians as possible in university. Trashed standards are just the consequence of providing these.

  4. We should open a macrobusiness university that only accepts local students. Key selling point is you don’t have to have your grades dragged down by FOB students in group assignments. Imagine the demand. The Go8 and those borderline regional universities can continue catering to overseas students. But their grades will no longer be subsidised by local students.

    • Build it right next to the MB renewable powerstation that is so profitable these days it’s a no brainer…

    • I was thinking the exact same thing. I reckon you could recruit the best academic and teaching staff in the country by promising them it’ll be an old school uni with actual academic standards etc. There will be high academic entry standards and they can actually fail students who should be failed. Within a decade it would have the best reputation in Australia