Aussie graduates swept aside by international student tsunami

Earlier this week, Professor Suresh Cuganesan – deputy dean at the University of Sydney Business School – called for the federal government to give international students even greater post-study work rights as an incentive to encourage greater enrolment numbers:

From the outset we need to signal that Australia is focused on the longer-term wellbeing and employability of our international students…

Any changes need to reflect our focus on building the long-term employability of our international students so they can be successful well into the future…

We should also address the sizeable challenge that international students face in getting work experience in their chosen fields…

This is where the government should lead a ‘Team Australia’ approach where leading businesses and start-ups formally partner with universities to offer international students more work experience opportunities, both during and after their studies.

Only days later, Monash University’s Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice has released a report arguing that Australian graduates are struggling to gain secure employment and decent pay:

The value of higher education in launching young Australians into the career of their choice is being eroded as universities churn out record numbers of graduates who are increasingly forced to take on low-paid, insecure work…

Young people face “the breakdown of a long-held assumption that higher education qualifications will lead to desirable and secure work”…

Young people are increasingly concentrated in fields that are “seasonal, part-time, casual, low-wage and insecure”.

“The link between attainment of higher education qualifications and the movement into certain professions is not happening in a linear way any more,” centre director and report author Lucas Walsh said…

The link between post-school study and a higher income is also eroding, the report shows.

Higher education participation rates have risen by 41 per cent in the past decade… At the same time, the “earning premium” of a bachelor’s degree has shrunk, from 39 per cent in 2005 to 27 per cent by 2018.

As I noted on Tuesday, following Professor Cuganesan’s recommendations would subrogate the interests of Australian students and deprive them of crucial job opportunities. It is the polar opposite of a “Team Australia” approach.

Instead of pandering to international students, our universities and governments should be “building the long-term employability of our international local students so they can be successful well into the future”, as well as addressing “the sizeable challenge that international local students face in getting work experience in their chosen fields”? That’s what “Team Australia” would do.

Interestingly, the collapse in international student numbers since the beginning of the pandemic:

Temporary visa holders

Big fall in temporary visa holders, especially students.

Has been a big driver of the sharp decline in youth unemployment and underemployment, despite more young Australians participating in the labour market:

Youth participation

Better job opportunities for younger Aussies.

Who would have thought? Not having to compete for jobs with hundreds of thousands of foreign students and graduates improves employment opportunities for younger Australians. May wonders never cease.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. StrombergMEMBER

    Another rotten article pushing the same agenda penned by Hari Hara Priya Kannan, a former international student, who has found employment with Bernard Salt’s “The Demography Group”:

    Tim Dodd’s higher education section has to be one of the worst part’s of the Australian. Critical journalism is truly a rarity there as most of what it publishes is just regurgitated talking points from greedy university’s clamouring for international student $$$.

  2. Please can we whack a diversity and equality quota on these infiltrators – 10% max from any one country 49% max male from any one country, to prevent further transformation of Australia into !ndia.

      • Why did not First Nations people think of imposing a quota? Those in power reap the gains from excess immigration, but they are us and don’t care about future generations!!! But future generations will also include the children of immigrants !!! We are all children of immigrants !!!!

        • Someone ElseMEMBER

          Fück off with the ‘first nations’ line and your specious virtue signaling. If you are going to pick a ‘first’ Australian then you’re barking up the wrong tree.

          The indigenes on the Australian mainland at the time of British colonisation were at least the third wave of human migration into Australia. The Tassie Aborigines are a very different group to mainland Aborigines, displaced by your ‘first nations’ off the mainland and into Tasmania.

          Do we give all land rights to the Tassie Aborigines (of whom there are many; their death has been greatly exaggerated)?

          TLDR: Your woke nit-picking about who is double-plus Australian is fatuous.

          • Someone ElseMEMBER

            Now that’s disingenuous. We both know your point was that some Australians are more worthy Australians than others. Just because you caged your discourse to give you deniability only shows you to be a coward, not broad-minded.

            Why else would you have selectively used a proper noun to name indigenes if you weren’t advocating and legitimising a moral hierarchy of Australian-ness?

            Go back to sipping your bespoke gin and your philosophy 101 moral d!ck measuring contests with your fake socialist mates, pretending that just because you’re jealous of and hate the rich, it means you give a fück about the downtrodden.


        • Sounds fair except the descendent a of British colonialist, convict labourers and predominantly European immigrants, since made a conscious decision to end the White Australia Policy because they considered it unfair. If the CCP, for example, were to get control of Australia through high immigration, there would be no allowing other people to then gain control simply by high unbalanced immigration levels. Even less intimidating countries would do it be enacting one group preference’ in action. There is a reason the USA for example has a 10% cap.

          • Less than 3% of the population is born in China. The Coalition will have completely destroyed the place long before there’s enough Chinese here to “gain control through immigration”.
            (Indian numbers are similar.)

  3. but its a $40B export industry how can you mock them? Who cares about OZ kids education & employment when this massive export industry exist?

    • Frank DrebinMEMBER

      They do, it’s called the Greens, and it promises social justice, non-discrimination, preferred pronouns, open borders, mass migration and a general selling out of all their interests.

      One day they will understand.

  4. Lord DudleyMEMBER

    Now that the Australian economy is well and truly hollowed out, one must ask if the economy has an actual need for most of these graduates. For example, mechanical engineers. Most of them won’t get work in their field because the industries that would hire them have been chased out of the country.

    Maybe it’s time to supply the skills that the Australian economy needs, and just forget the rest. That means skills that support mining, tradies, real estate agents, retail workers, and agricultural laborers.

    Training people like mechatronics engineers is a waste of time and money. Australia only has a need for a small number of these, so they can be imported.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      That’s already here. All the lessons of Argentina’s impoverishment have been ignored.

      • Lord DudleyMEMBER

        I’ve thought for years that Australia is just Argentina a century later. Argentina had the highest living standard in the world. But they focused too much on primary resources. When their biggest trading partner (the British) massively reduced buying from them, they never recovered.

        Sound familiar?

    • Seems that way. Though presume you need engineers for all the infrastructure being built. First thing is to revert all those “unis” back to Colleges of advanced education n Taffs.

      • That’s right. The Dawkins reforms were the start of the rot, as well as the discovery that the universities could be used to disguise youth unemployment.

  5. The fed broke it. Now, they own it.

    My 18-year-old son in Perth and first year at university is working 30 hours a week doing pick and pack and storeman jobs. No shortage of work. In fact, he quit his cafe job as the pick and pack jobs pays more.