Mirabile dictu: International students caput for 2021

Awesome. Via The Australian:

Australia’s universities have been warned by new Education Minister Alan Tudge that it will be “very difficult” to get significant numbers of foreign students back on campus this year, amid fears the COVID-ravaged sector will lose up to $10bn from the closed international border.

In his first interview since Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s cabinet reshuffle in December, Mr Tudge also said he was determined to put Australian schools back on track after a horror year of lockdowns and online learning for students and parents.

Another priority would be finding new ways to commercialise university research.

Hopes of foreign students returning to university this semester have been dashed in recent weeks by national cabinet’s tightening of international arrival caps and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews – whose state’s biggest export is education – saying it was “frankly not possible” to get thousands of students into Australia.

Mr Tudge, previously the acting immigration minister and population, cities and urban infrastructure minister, told The Australian there would be significant challenges to revive the foreign student sector by year’s end.

“It’s going to be very difficult,” he said on Thursday. “Our priority is ensuring that Australians can get home and Australians are kept safe from the virus.

As it should be.

The international student trade has transformed local unis into the greediest, least patriotic, most corrupt leech sector in the Australian economy. Instead of being governed by knowledge, greed is now their compass:

  • Throughout the pandemic, they put the local community’s welfare last.
  • Hundreds of grubby academics now work hand-in-glove with the CCP, the world’s most egregious tyranny.
  • Free speech is routinely silenced in students and academics to support the trade.
  • CCP influence is rife via commercial links, Confucious Institutes and huge Chinese student populations.
  • The classic “revolving door” of corrupt officials and chancelleries is out of control.
  • Pedagogical standards have collapsed.
  • Easily exploited cheap foreign kids have crushed wages growth and killed productivity growth more broadly.

There should a complete reset via a royal commission. It won’t come because the Morrison Government doesn’t want to lose the cash cow and Labor is addicted to its horribly dated Asianisation migration program.

I have no objection to a well-run and balanced international student program to augment strong public funding but that is not what Australia’s wholesale scab grab evolved into.

Quality education is the number one long term driver of prosperity. Australia not only shut this engine down with an outrageous international student binge, it poured sugar into its fuel tank.

COVID exposed it as such and we should all welcome its destruction.

David Llewellyn-Smith


  1. Shades of MessinaMEMBER

    Temporary lull methinks

    Will roar back in the second half of 2022 once borders are open.

  2. “There should a complete reset via a royal commission.”

    No, there should be a complete reset via policy change away from privatization and back to the government provided sector that used to exist. The only person requiring a royal commission to figure this out is a politician looking to delay action until it becomes someone else’s problem.

    • Display NameMEMBER

      Yep. Yet another service destroyed by privatisation. But it is so efficient now. At transferring cash to political mates.

  3. Great news. Remind me to email Tudge … and can MB just email these articles to his office as a cc. Every little bit helps.

  4. For me this is one of those
    Be careful what you ask for times, because you might just get it.
    Unfortunately International students are the income boost the sector needs to support our desire to cheaply deliver Tertiary education to over 40% of our own kids.
    Remove the International students and our Universities will need to both half their costs and halve their domestic student intake. That’s not a terrible outcome but before you cheer spare a thought for all the PhD students that are praying for Lecturing gig when they’re done with their “research” .
    The Tertiary education system we have has evolved over the last two decades to become something very different that which developed over the prior 100 years. It’s purpose is different, it’s student profile is different, it’s expectations are different …its a different system that provides solutions to a different problem.
    So be careful what you ask for…

    • Swap out some of the property boosting stimulus and friendly tax policy concessions and put that money into funding unis properly.

    • Remove the fat from the education cash cow and you will end up with a much leaner, cheaper and better Uni education system. Most courses are vastly over-priced for what they deliver. Most of the courses could be provided on-line at a fraction of the cost, especially in the bloated Arts/Finance/Economics/Law courses. Yes I have attended a top tier Uni (ANU) and subsequently completed higher degrees/professional courses on-line/distance education so I know what I am talking about, Furthermore much of the Uni research is pure bunkum, undertaken to supposedly raise the credentials because of the high level of job competition from foreigners who are here to get some higher qualification or deliberate recruitment of overseas people to keep wages low.

  5. This article is problematic because it conflates the reason why education standards went down in the first place which coincided with Kevin Rudds big Australia asianisation program. In 2007 KRUDD changed University funding so that more students could be admittted. When I started at Uni the mark to get into Arts or Science was a 90ATAR at UWA, it is now 75, the domestic student admittance rate went up by 70% and also teaching standards went down. Then to make things worse the international students came in.. there are no standards for teaching at Aus universities, here in WA 3 of 4 unis want a royal commission but the woke east wont hear a bar of it.

  6. I'll have anotherMEMBER

    Well said DLS. Don’t agree with everything you say but this was very well stated, particularly the description of modern Australian Universities.

  7. The parasite foreign student education industry that prostitutes itself as a migrant guestworker visa alibi may “lose up to $10b” (that’s a multi year view btw, the original article was $4.8 billion this year – below)

    Along with their big lie – that foreign student education is Australia’s third-largest ‘export’ —behind only iron ore and coal—with more than 700,000 international students enrolled last year, bringing about Aus$32 billion into the economy !!

    Universities Australia said its modelling “showed the sector could expect coronavirus-linked revenue losses of up to Aus$4.8 billion in 2020, growing to Aus$16 billion through to 2023.”

    Foreign student education in Australia is not an ‘export’.

    This myth is based on an Australian Education Gov ‘paid for’ pro propaganda paper published by Deloitte Access Economics in 2016 & embellished since.

    Facts are:
    In December 2019 there were 823,000 foreign student visa holders with 772,000 primary visa holders & 65,000 so called partners on secondary visas in December 2019 & and estimated total of 750,000 now.

    The majority who work illegally (refer to fact tar 75% work illegally – Sydney Uni & UTS studies 2018-2019.

    Many who in 2020 have attended no classes or pretended to under the guise of covid-19 and ‘online learning’ to dramatically increase their illegal work.

    The majority of foreign students and partners enter on self declared or falsified funds (borrowed / bank statement / money whisked our for the next one) and only pay the first semester.

    They occupy at least 617,000 Australian FTE jobs often working both legally and then illegally to repay agent procurer debt and send back remittances.

    Creating at least 600,000 Australian unemployed costing over $16 billion in Australian Centrelink payments.

    Our foreign remittances outflow primarily from foreign students and partners has increased from $2.3 billion (2009) to now $12 billion (2019 World Bank remittance outflows 2019)

    To China, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, and other third world countries of origin.
    Debt repayments to the foreign agent trafficked and then to their foreign family.

    They are not here for the ‘education’ – that’s just the visa pretext to live & work illegally.

    Remove work rights and over 650,000 or more work immediately depart.

    They casualise jobs & lower wages for all Australians including our youth & mature age.

    They occupy at least 150,000 modest Australian established dwellings (5 or more per dwelling) often cash in hand sublet no landlord income declared or minimised – creating housing contention and cost impacts to Australians with now 116,000 Australian permanent homeless and another 340,000 Australians seeking affordable housing.

    Costing another $4.2 billion a year in Australian taxpayer support.
    A direct and tangible correlation of economic and social impact to all Australians.

    They massively increase the cost of Australian education for Australian youth – as the university’s, colleges, institutes and academies all prostitute themselves as a visa alibi for migrant guestworkers.

    👉🏾A huge economic and social burden.

    Total fees paid 2019 – $14.5 billion.

    Paid primarily from money earned here.

    ‘Fees’ earned onshore at least $12 billion.
    Not an export at all.

    75% work illegally.
    They are the epi-centre of foreign criminal migrant trafficking syndicate, money laundering, vice and criminal activity.

    As example the Australian vice industry is now exclusively run by Chinese, North Asian and North East Asian criminal syndicates with over 50,000 foreign students or partners as their stock in trade.

    Educational achievement?

    In 2015 the Government report ‘Migrant Pathways a Decade on’ noted the vocational attainment of foreign students into a professional vocation with a higher than average income (Australia if they secured a PR or back in their country of origin).
    Progression into a higher than average income and vocation in Australia or their home country?
    Less than 3.9%
    96% fail to become anything useful.
    Exposing just what a farce the international educating actiakut is. Why the Productivity Commission said that Foreign Students are NOT suitable candidates for PR.

    👉🏾Less foreign students is a good thing for Australia.

    It’s a reduced import cost and social impact burden.

    Finally – if Australia had the same rules as the UK, US or say China for a foreign student.
    These include rules such as:
    •No work rights
    •No partners
    •Proper Health Checks – onshore Doctor check.
    •Full course fees paid in advance from offshore & no refunds
    •Proper checks on their housing, no 8 Chinese students working illegally in a fetid 2 bed unit bunk share paying cash in hand rent not declared to a Chinese criminal who bought that Australian home unit with dirty money.
    •No vice (yes it’s legal in NSW for a foreign student)
    •Reporting to the local police station monthly to declare all activities, funds & sources of income.

    👉🏾If we had those rules then there would be less than 65,000 foreign students, and virtually no partners in Australia.

    And despite what the parasitic ticket clipping universities etc say – the less foreign students we have in Australia, the better off we are.

    Most of the ‘foreign students & partners’ in Australia are already in breach of existing visa conditions (COe) and need to have their visas cancelled and be deported.

    👉🏾 We need a Royal Commission into the entire corrupt foreign student trafficking and migrant guestworker industry.
    This is long overdue.

    • buttzilla team forever

      you won’t need any of that. China is broke and their mercantilist experiment over. enjoy the next 20 years, it’ll be rough.