Virgin Premier abandons international student return

It’s all good news today, at the SMH:

The NSW government has shelved plans to start returning 1000 international students to Sydney each week in a blow to some of the city’s major universities.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian told The Sun-Herald in November she wanted to use a third of the state’s hotel quarantine slots to bring in international students and skilled migrants, starting as soon as this month.

The push was at odds with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and a national cabinet agreement which made returning Australians the priority leading up to Christmas.

…On Saturday, Ms Berejiklian said of her original plans: “I think that’s always our aspiration, but we can’t pretend about how serious the current mutations of the virus are, and until we understand better what those strains are doing.”

Translated that means “I was bloody reckless when I put the interests of blood-sucking universities and developers ahead of the community. Now my agenda for crushed wages and higher house prices has been exposed I will beat a hasty tactical retreat”.

Obviously, the hotel quarantine capacity should prioritise Aussies, or what’s the point of being one? As well, it should be free for nationals and foreigners should pay. The opposite of current arrangements.

Owing to 0verly-generous work rights, foreign students add more supply than they do demand to the economy so this is great news for Australia’s millions of under- and unemployed who will no longer have to compete with as much cheap foreign labour. Especially Aussie kids.

Sadly, the deeply corrupt Virgin Premier will doubtless be back with more ill-conceived plans in due course and vaccines will open these people flows later this year anyway.

We can at least look forward to no return of Chinese numbers as the CCP delivers better Australian national interest policy than our corrupt leaders do.

This is one key reason why we see Sydney and Melbourne property underperforming this year.

In short, it’s all upside here!

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. happy valleyMEMBER

    Translated that means “I was bloody reckless …” in heaps of things I do or don’t do?

  2. Maybe she’s worked out that foreign students are a net loss?

    Department of Immigration tells me that ‘foreign students must have enough funds to support themselves’ but they get work rights so as to avoid ‘financial hardship’. Well financial hardship is a non-issue if you have the required funds to support yourself.

  3. Hernando de Soto

    Have no fear – they can come in as “software engineers”. My company is importing everyone under such a label now.

    We get the visa less than an hour after submitting the paperwork electronically, thanks to Dutton streamlining Home Affairs.

  4. So how much tax payer dollars are going to be given to universities? I expect the announcement anytime soon.

    • Or the Universities can trim the fat. No cutting teaching contact or research, but trimming the management fat.

  5. Almost any rent seeker can buy Rum Corps Gladys, and at a very reasonable price too. If she has (temporarily) abandoned this scam, it can only be because she regards it as a highly public suicide note.

  6. I do think the UK and South Africa variants of the virus have freaked out plenty of nations.

    I have spent much of last week chatting with people in the UK, Ireland and Germany (as well as Russia) and although nobody knows what the reason actually is, they are all saying the administrative regimes are seriously afraid of the UK/SA ‘mutation’ for some reason and have all taken steps – like the Singaporeans and the Taiwanese – to reduce movement of peoples from the UK and SA. One of these guys is a very senior investment banking type and he mentioned he had been told that ‘the word’ is that the UK variant will potentially become the dominant strain of the virus.

    I can also tell you that the Australian government is telling stranded Australians offshore that those with another passport (apart from Australia’s) are the lowest priority in terms of repatriation. But as mentioned previously my wife and daughter are pretty safe (in an apartment of a friend in Moscow) and minimising contact with anyone, and although it is a long separation they are sort of coping OK. Others are not so fortunate.

    My take of the NSW Students announcement is the dawning realisation that the University students are likely never going to be returning the way they once were. This will hit the entire sector seriously hard. I know someone in the Vice Chancellors off of an Australian Uni and am told that the job losses are continuing in that institution. In the first wave of job losses for the sector it has been the easy to terminate contracts – contractors and temporary/casual employees (about 70% of academic staff) but the road from here looks like shedding ‘permanent’ administrative staff as Universities begin to come to terms with the long term (if not permanent) nature of the hit.

    Having made a couple of trips to Melbourne in recent weeks I can identify that there are closed retail outlets everywhere (as there are in Geelong). Despite all the hooplah about economic ‘rebound’ which seems to have been the prevailing sentiment over the Christmas NY break, my take is that there is considerable economic pain – and a long term reliance on government spend – across the economy and a lot of pain still to be factored.

    • We are living is suspended animation thinking back to BAU soon based on hope and vaccine effectiveness. A lot of average joe’s have no idea the pain Straylia is about to go through.

    • The Big 4 are bracing for carnage post March unless there’s an extension to Government programs. That’s from an L2, likely to be next cab off the rank for the CEO role. They asked a mate whether he’d pulled any super out during the super withdrawal scheme, as mate has a habit of buying real estate regularly (nut). Told him he’d have been blacklisted in accordance with bank policy if he did.

      All that said it doesn’t appear to have had any adverse impact in your neck of the woods. The Bellarine is flying. No selling pressure, therefore stock on the market in some areas is practically zero.

      • I look at the vibe around the Bellarine (was driving a mate around Torquay and Anglesea on saturday) and must confess I am struck by

        1. The vibe, it really is holiday mode down here
        2. The age of the people crowding cafes and restaurants

        Geelong and the Bellarine has become a sort of upmarket retirement village on an epic scale. But I am also told that RE prices in Ballarat and Bendigo and Warrnambool are going bananas too

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      As I understand it, the Pfizer and Moderna are fairly readily adaptable to virus mutations.

      What’s the position on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on which the UK and Straya have made their largest punts?

      If not readily adaptable, maybe that’s what’s putting the fear of dog in to people?

    • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

      Thanks Gunna hope your family situation is resolved quickly. Appreciate the real news update. I’m not in the medical field but a friend who is a Doctor suggested that the large amounts of infected individuals in places like winter UK is a perfect recipe for virus mutations.

    • ” are seriously afraid of the UK/SA ‘mutation’ for some reason and have all taken steps ”
      For the same reason covid has had people seriously afraid full stop. People consider a new/novel/previously unknown risk far worse than an existing one, even if it is demonstrably not the case based on evidence.
      See flying vs cars for a very common example.

  7. Visa holder at work just won lotto, around $20m, his application for Perm resident was suddenly approved, just days after winning

  8. Check out the comments in the SMH article. Everyone knows the scam …

    seen it coming
    1 DAY AGO
    Quite a bit of fact checking needs to be done on the claims made in this article. “$40 billion revenue” – yet almost all students work whilst here with many sending money back home. The net gain is way less.
    Each student “spends $100,000” per year – so they earn more than the average wage, in the 20 hours per week the student visa allows? Not much study going on if that’s the case.
    “They go home after 3 or 4 years” – the Graduate Visa sees most stay double that with access to permanent residency easily obtained meaning they never go home. The international student “industry ” is an immigration pathway quite obviously. The food delivery riders who have been tragically killed in recent times were all “students”. Studies have shown overall that all this drives up rents, soaks up unskilled employment, drives down wages and in the case of non English speakers, drives down academic achievements and increases cheating. And I won’t get started on the political influence of Confucius Institutes on campuses throughout Australia.
    1 DAY AGO
    It amazing your comment has more truth and analysis than the conventional wisdom and spin put out by education migration lobby and their associated vested interests.

    • This is what I got from government on the work rights for students and their partners:

      International students must have sufficient funds to support themselves for the duration of their
      stay in Australia and should not depend on work to sustain themselves. The financial requirements
      for student visas are designed to reduce the risk that students will experience financial hardship
      while in Australia so that they can devote the time required to complete their full time studies.
      The current work condition strikes a balance between the opportunities for students to undertake
      limited work, without affecting their studies as the purpose of their stay. The current limit protects
      students from potential excessive work which could adversely affect educational outcomes and
      also minimises the impact on local job opportunities. The Government does not have any intention
      of changing these settings at this time.
      Thank you for raising this matter with the Minister.
      Yours sincerely
      Fyyaz Shahnoor
      Acting Director, Tourism and International Education Policy Section
      Department of Home Affairs
      4 January 2021

      Fyyaz didn’t provide their email address, but I worked it out and emailed them asking if students have to prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves (and we checked this) then they wouldn’t be in financial hardship to warrant the need to work.

      I highlighted that given this, it is more the case that work rights for foreign students is to make studying in Australia more attractive.

      Has Fyyaz benefited from such an approach and is keeping this poor policy in place at the detriment of locals?

      As yet I have had no reply.

    • I think that $100K annual spend would include their tuition fees. However, this would be paid back from earning in Australia over time. The magic $100K amount doesn’t factor in remittance – particularly to pay back family or lenders who paid for the course upfront to which students will work here to pay off (including interest accrued).