Judith Sloan takes axe to edu-migration rent seekers

The Australian’s Judith Sloan has penned a terrific article explaining why the “Tidal wave of overseas students must stop”.

Sloan claims that senior administrators at Australia’s universities are relentless rent-seekers and will take every opportunity to lobby the federal government to open the nation’s international borders to foreign students.

Instead, Sloan insists that any decision to re-open Australia to overseas students on a large scale must consider whether the benefits outweigh the costs for Australia.

Below are some key highlights from Sloan’s demolition job:

  • The tidal wave of international students has been “vital to the funding of outsized university budgets, whopping salaries and over-the-top campus building programs”.
  • International student numbers studying at Australia’s universities ballooned by 80% between 2010 and 2019 and have only fallen modestly during the pandemic.
  • Measured on a per capita basis, Australia now hosts more international students than any other major country in the world.
  • University rent-seekers only tout the benefits of international students (most of which they capture) and never mention the costs borne by Australian students and the broader society.
  • These costs include: inadequate English; degraded educational standards, including the misuse of group assignments; the degraded experience of local students being crammed into classes dominated by foreign language speakers; restrictions on freedom of speech; and endemic wage theft and exploitation, generally by business owners of the same ethnic grouping.
  • The federal government’s recent deregulation of international student work hours “begs the question why these students are here: is it to study or to work?”. Most “international students are more motivated by the prospect of securing permanent residence than undertaking an often substandard university course… In other words, we are importing low-skilled workers who aim to stay here permanently or for very long periods”.
  • Therefore, “there is an overwhelming case for avoiding the resumption of international student enrolments on the scale and type that existed prior to the pandemic”.
  • Specifically, student numbers should be curtailed by requiring a “much higher English proficiency standard… to obtain a visa as well as evidence of the ­financial means to cover all costs of study… International students should also be expected to go home upon the completion of their studies” and “there should be no expectation of achieving PR after graduation”.
  • What Australian needs to avoid at all costs is returning to the pre-COVID settings whereby “all the financial benefits of having so many international students were captured by the higher education sector ­itself while the costs were largely borne by the community”, such as “loss of urban amenity, including excessive congestion; unsightly apartment buildings; and distortions to the unskilled segment of the labour market”.

Bravo Judith Sloan. MB has been making the same arguments for years.

Australia’s pre-COVID concentration of international students was extreme, dwarfing all other developed nations:

International students concentration

Australia’s international student concentration was extreme.

Sensible policy would seek to lower foreign student numbers to international norms by:

  1. Raising entry standards (particularly English-language proficiency);
  2. Raising financial requirements needed to enter Australia; and
  3. Removing the link between studying, work rights and permanent residency.

These reforms would lift student quality and would raise genuine export revenues per student.

They would also help to improve teaching standards and the experience for domestic students, which should be our universities’ number one priority.

We must restore Australia’s universities back to being about ‘higher learning’ rather than ‘higher earning’.

Unconventional Economist
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Comments

  1. MathiasMEMBER

    > Sloan claims that senior administrators at Australia’s universities are relentless rent-seekers and will take every opportunity to lobby the federal government to open the nation’s international borders to foreign students.

    When did Sloan become an MB reader? I bet she’s here somewhere and about to go *BOO* .

    • while the Universities are rent seekers the bigger rent seekers are the PCA and other services who lobby for big education and big migration on the basis that it helps line their pockets. go read brendan rynnes analysis of education to see how it works.

  2. Good on her, but why always leave out the cost of the extra infrastrucuture for an extra 500,000 people being in the country, as well as the increased costs of rent, as we compete with over 500,000 extra people in the country for housing.

  3. I feel that there’s something afoot in Australian polite society when the MSM gatekeepers of public discourse begin allowing articles like this to slip through semi regularly.

    The cynic in me is saying that it might be hasty to unleash the optimism just now.

    • Agreed. But at least this message is getting out into the Oz readership and hopefully it will start to inform other journalists and information/narrative peddlers. The message seems to be getting through to TPTB that the Aussie gen pop doesn’t really want mass migration to restart if what SFM is to be believed. So while we all expect mass migration to restart as soon as they can manage it, it seems that we have an opportunity to somewhat reshape the discussion around it.

  4. What Universities – ????? – oh you mean ***for profit*** narrow degree/certificate mills … thank you J. Howard and the free market posse …

    But I got to say its a hoot watching all these past sorts tie themselves in knots whilst backtracking on everything the stood for years ago and anyone that disagreed was a socialist commie that wanted to destroy freedoms …

    • don’t blame Howard, I got into University during the Howard era, you still needed a 90 ATAR or TER as it ws called back then just to get into Arts at a G8 University and y course fees were 3k per year. It was under Rudd that education really effed up, Howard may have introduced neo liberal ideas but he put scales on them not like those who have come after. Howard was an utterly decent man, he protected Medicare, he protected education and he got rid of guns. its the new left which is the problem.

        • stick on the topic, I worked in the immigration advice industry during Howard, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott, turnbull and Scomo… Howard was easily the most decent when it came to concepts such as caps on temporary visa holders and other stuff.. towards the end he was losing it a fair bit but otherwise he kept lids on things.. as for Iraq, yeah I agree but it was the Christians who wanted to push that whole Samuel Huntington narrative of a clash of civilizations which pushed us into that nonsense which we are still paying for. I hate war for the simple fact that it is impractical and also the after effects such as PTSD and loss of national morale are abysmal but when it came to immigration the Howard government from 1996-2003 had a good grip. Also education was merit based and non of the education revolution that the idiot Rudd pushed.. Rudd was the one who pushed for corporate universities on the basis that he wanted to make it like the US model of a larger university populace… you have to remember a lot of things go on optics.. If we only had 300,000 tertiary students which is what we had under Howard do you think we would allowed 800,000 international students.. no. The reason Universities got insane in size was because of Rudd and his BS affirmative action let everyone in crap.. here is the thing about the Affirmative action BS… I am non white, not from a rich background and would not be eligible for the AA measures.. but a white kid from a rich background who was not studious such as Christian Porter would benefit on the basis that.. who needs to study to get into Uni..

          • You don’t seem to understand that Howard set the stage for everything that is wrong today, because the fundamental [ideological] foundations of the model inevitably lead to the same outcomes – see U.S. U.K. and others. BTW knew someone quite high up in admissions at a top Sydney Uni and we were conferring on this pre GFC aka the writing was on the wall, plus know quite a few heads of dept and the like that spent lifetimes in service which all knew what was coming ….

            Howard was our Raygun ….

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            +1

            There is a straight and basically unbroken line from Howard to basically everything seriously wrong with this country today.

  5. Australia pre COVID: Mass students. Mass immigration. Low-tax resource exploitation. Rising real estate.

    Australia post COVID: Mass students. Mass immigration. Low-tax resource exploitation. Rising real estate.

  6. Steven Roberts

    The data in figure 2, if it is real, is compelling. From where is it produced? This could be a capital B big story or no story at all if the data is rubbish.

    • the story is accurate and i also think there is muc more to it because I think that is only primary visa holders. Aus has a population of 25-27 million (who the hell really knows) and we have 500,000 international students which is about 2% of the total pop but maybe less.. I think the data is understated because I think with secondary applicants the real number could be 700,000 also around another 100,000 485 visa holders.. unsustainable.

      • Yes, you are correct.
        It is actually double that ratio.
        See my other reply to @Steven Roberts for more detail.

        So the figure 2 chart In the article – indicates that Australian has approx ‘1,580 foreign students per 100,000 people in population’.
        Then compares that to UK, US etc.

        👉🏾No. It is nearly double that.
        It’s 2,976 per 100,000.

        We have 765,000 foreign students (703,000 on a primary visa) and 62,000 as ‘partners’ on a secondary visa onshore.
        As Sloan says and the Aust education website shows, there has only been a small drop in foreign student or foreign student partners. I am using latest numbers.

        These visas are across a splendid array of ‘student’ graduate & post graduate, DFAT & scholarship visas, masking an incredible number that are economically & socially toxic to our nation.

        Assume Australia onshore population is
        25.7 million (latest ABS figure is Sept 2020)

        Non Australian Foreign students & partners on temporary visas are 765,000 total.
        (Aust Gov Edu or DHA ABF)

        That is 765,000 / 257 (hundred thousands)
        👉🏾That is 2,976 foreign students & partners per 100,000

        👉🏾Nearly double the chart figure given.

        And 4, 5, 6 or more times the other countries given as a comparison.

    • So the figure 2 chart In the article – indicates that Australian has approx ‘1,580 foreign students per 100,000 people in population’.
      Then compares that to UK, US etc.

      You ask if it’s valid?

      👉🏾No. It is nearly double that.
      It’s 2,976 per 100,000.

      We have 765,000 foreign students (703,000 on a primary visa) and 62,000 as ‘partners’ on a secondary visa onshore. As Sloan says and the Aust education website shows, there has only been a small drop in foreign student or foreign student partners.

      These visas are across a splendid array of ‘student’ graduate & post graduate, DFAT & scholarship visas, masking an incredible number that are economically & socially toxic to our nation.

      Assume Australia onshore population is
      25.7 million (latest ABS figure is Sept 2020)

      Non Australian Foreign students & partners on temporary visas are 765,000 total.
      (Aust Gov Edu or DHA ABF)

      That is 765,000 / 257 (hundred thousands)
      👉🏾That is 2,976 foreign students & partners per 100,000

      👉🏾Nearly double the chart figure given.

      And 4, 5, 6 or more times the other countries given as a comparison.

      And then we should compare the more important thing which is the ‘quality’ of this intake, and the social & economic impact.

      -/-

      Read on if you want to read what Sloan should have communicated.

      In the US, UK, Europe & even China, their foreign students are almost all higher education post graduate, full fees paid up front, strict conditions on no work rights & no partners, no course or visa churn.

      Not so in Australia.
      In fact almost the other end of the spectrum.

      Almost all the foreign students and so called partners we have are very unskilled third world mature adults – recruited from the gutters and slums of the third world on what are nonsensical visas & pretext courses, many courses with no international accreditation or vocational benefit.

      Our foreign student & partner intake are not an export.
      They bring in less than $2.4 billion a year (DHA / ABF) from overseas funds, only paying the first semester up front & most arrive in significant foreign agent procurer loan debt.

      All their money is then earned here, including their ‘’education fees’ of $13 billion as a visa alibi. Money earned illegally (75%+ work illegally UTS Sydney Uni studies) and large amount (over $7 billion) is sent out of Australia (World Bank foreign remittances outflows)

      They only here to steal.

      To steal an Australian’s job, to steal an Australian’s housing, to be trafficked into the foreign run vice & black economy.

      If you add up their impact it’s incredible.

      Australia job theft (600,000 legal Australian jobs stolen so $19 billion in Centrelink)
      Housing contention (116,000 Australian permanent homeless, 340,000 seeking affordable housing so $4.6 billion).
      Lowered wages for many other Australians ($14 billion), congestion & misguided public infrastructure projects ($18 billion), degraded Australian education ($15 billion), crime, vice, drugs, tax evasion, money laundering and so on.

      We are talking about a $50 billion+ negative economic & social impact cost to Australia.

      Each & every foreign student costing Australians some $65,000 each in negative employment, housing or social impact.

      In fact their only primary qualification is their ability to be a participant in illegal work, to repay their agent procurer, to repay back that family debt and to send back remittances. And to try & secure that PR to be an anchor sponsor for cash back & more like them.

      As example.
      We have over 50,000 third world mostly end of life asian vice workers foreign students as the mainstay of the Australian vice industry.
      Literally the gutter sweepings of Korea, Japan & Taiwan vice & the abandoned mothers & bargirls of south east Asia along with their ‘cousin’ or pimps on a ‘partner’ visa.

      Vice being by far the most sought after work by a foreign student in Australia, legal in NSW, not enforced anywhere else.
      Typically at least 5 days 12 hour shifts & 6 client minimum a day so 30 x $80 cut or $2,400 a week – $800 to their agent procurer, $500 a week back to the family / kids as remittances. Zero health checks, no identity check, all cash / no tax paid.

      Australian foreign student vice worker income remittances are now only second to the entire rice crop of Isan Thailand, and nearly a one third of foreign student or ‘partner’ remittances back to China, Korea & Taiwan.
      But not Asia’s finest. We get the aged, sick or end of life asian vice workers who are unsalable in China, Korea, Taiwan.
      Being an Australian foreign student hooker is their preretirement plan. Or else we get the abandoned mothers & bar girls from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the kid(s) dumped back in the village & remittances sent back. (Go visit Xwing someday & check out the volume of money sent back and by who, the tattooed Thai foreign students all queued up to count out some $2-4k each month in grubby no doubt hard earned cash to feed the kids & half the village)

      That’s why our foreign student ‘Asian’ intake is so unique at 71% female & unskilled mature adults / often over 30.

      As we have no taste for Indian, Bangla or middle eastern woman that’s mostly old adult males doing multiple jobs in cleaning, car washing, Uber, factory work etc.
      That’s why our Indian / Bangla / Arab / African etc intake is 70% male unskilled adults & even older.

      Or else money laundering, drugs or the pursuit of visa churn to secure a ‘PR as an anchor for chain migration.

      ▫️We have an entire Chinese Hukou underclass actively exported by Chinese authorities in collaboration with the Chinese trafficking syndicates / to shed their tier 1 city slums of these Hukou underclass social misfits & useless.

      ▫️The Indian lowlife, typically the 2nd or later son as the ‘mummy boy’, packaged up & sent overseas- the falsified documents & health checks, the bribes paid.. only here to work illegally 80 hours a week – to repay that agent procurer debt, to secure that PR, to recoup the money back in spousal or sponsorship of yet another Indian – and to get his mother & her sisters on Australia welfare & Medicare.

      ◽️Entire Nepalese villages, blatantly extending & churning visas with zero attendance or academic achievement, zero english after 4 years.

      ◽️Along with Bangladeshi rice farmers & itinerants doing Deliveroo, the South American spawn of their San Paulo or Borgata criminal class.

      ◽️The Middle East Jihadi, the Africans, and other third world detritus.

      👉🏾They are not here for the ‘education’.

      They would not pay a single Yuan, Yen, Rupee or Tika for the nonsense courses the the ‘international education industry’ offers as a visa alibi for migrant guestworkers.

      The proof?

      With Covid-19, the shift to ‘online learning’.

      Campuses & classrooms – all abandoned.

      All of the foreign students took advantage to increase their illegal work.

      To steal even more Australian’s jobs.

      To not attend classes at all, increasingly fraud their attendance and course work.

      They had no funds. Most are in breach of their visa and Coe.

      👉🏾They don’t need to be in Australia to do any of these ‘online courses’.

      But would they actually pay for this education & do it overseas?

      No. Resoundingly no.

      Australia has never been able to sell its ‘education services’ as an export.

      It has always required the promise of that offshore education being an ‘intake feed’ into Australia at some point – or granting access into Australia on a temporary long stay visa.

      Because:
      1. The actual Australian education is poor quality, high cost and without any international recognition or accreditation. It’s not education but a visa alibi for third world migrant guestworkers.
      2. And so the intake we have (as outlined) are not here for the education.

      • So the whole f#%king thing is a charade, scam, fraud, lie, bullsh!t, etc etc.
        Pretty much OK for Australia then!
        Open the floodgates….that’s what will happen.

        • Yes, and the 765,000 third world unskilled migrant adults on foreign student visas are just part of over 2.6 million non Australian temporary (1.9 million) or scv (680k) visa holders here.
          The whole rotten migrant trafficking racket needs a Royal commission…

          But neither major political party or vested interest in the migrant trafficking racket will do that.

          So it needs a Royal Commission triggered by a mass public petition to the Governor General to force it.

  7. @Mike mb
    Lots of interesting claims, but I am also interested in your sources of info. For example about extra infrastructure costs. And composition of student intake. And the trafficking claims. All juicy stuff but can you provide some verifiable sources? You have some inside knowledge?

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