International student deluge lands in Australia

New data from the Home Affairs department, reported in The Australian, reveals that a record 42,700 offshore international students lodged a visa application to study in Australia in June, which continued into July:

“This is the largest number of offshore applications received in a single month in the last 10 years,” the department told education providers…

The department said that the high numbers seen in June are continuing, with an average of 10,000 student visa applications a week being received during July from offshore applicants. In comparison, only 34,015 student visa applications were received in June 2019, before the pandemic…

International Education Association of Australia CEO Phil Honeywood said… “This latest data proves there is still a strong appetite to study in Australia”…

Last week Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said 62,000 student visas had been finalised since the beginning of June…

Currently the international education industry is lagging well behind the boom conditions it experienced pre-Covid, when the value of Australia’s education exports reached a record $40.3 billion in 2019…

Currently international students have no limit on the hours they work since the Morrison government removed the previous 40 hours per fortnight restriction in an effort to ease labour shortages.

However this has raised concern that international students are being attracted to Australia by the prospect of working to earn money in a high wage economy rather than coming to study.

The last two sentences says it all: students from poor nations like the Indian sub-continent and Nepal are rushing to Australia to “study” so they can take advantage of unlimited work rights and the hope of then transitioning to permanent residency.

Hence, the dramatic increase in visa fraud reported over recent months (see here and here).

Most students arriving from these poorer nations don’t bring money from their home countries into Australia (a genuine export). Instead they pay for their studies and living expenses by undertaking paid employment in Australia – usually at below-award rates. These funds are by definition not an export since the money is earned here, and often some of it is sent home (an import). Yet the Australian Bureau of Statistics wrongly classifies these student earnings as an export, which is why we continually hear the false “$40.3 billion” export claim highlighted above.

This false accounting of international student exports then wrongly encourages policy makers to promote international education as some wonderful money earner for the nation, when it is really just a people-importing immigration industry.

Let’s be honest for a second. If entry standards were tightened and the carrot of work rights and permanent residency were dialed back, the entire international education industry would collapse.

For many if not most international ‘students’ arriving in Australia, the primary goal is not education at all, but instead gaining work rights and permanent residency.

Needless to say, this is going to land on still struggling wage growth like a falling anvil.

So long as Australia continues to lower the entry bar, extends work rights, and hands out easier permanent residency, the international education “industry” will boom.

Because immigration is the real service being delivered. Not genuine education exports that enrich Australia.

Unconventional Economist

Comments

    • While the borders have been closed these last 2 years I’ve come to the realization that the only reason Uber and Uber Eats were viable is because of International “Students”. Once the gates were slammed shut the consistency and quality of service of these services dropped as there’s no longer a million students begging to deliver someone’s food to them for a few dollars. I don’t really use these services myself, but it’s been funny watching entitled middle class people getting upset and indignant at the service quality drop.

  1. SkepticviewerMEMBER

    Well Well Well here goes again – Waiting for 40 mins as 6 buses packed full of student concession card holders from not Australia go past leaving tax and ratepayer’s waiting for 40 mins in the heat. Again house prices will increase as these students in groups are able to buy houses. Death staring clots in hospitals forcing Australian residents to die in Ambulances and as the cities and most workplaces become a non-English speaking zone, the hell will return.
    One can only pray to Set the god of total destruction for a rapid rise in sea levels followed by or in tandem with massive land temperature rises exterminating everything quickly as living in a replica of a crowded polluted, poverty struck women hating corrupt sub cont city would only be slightly worse than total death by Sekhmet. Got the love those Egyptians.
    Of course, the ones to suffer most from the take over will be women, and low-income resident Australians, as well as young people, young people will find that all the government employers, are dominated by managers employing their own kind. Opportunities will be subject to international competition on a tilted field. Death by Climate it is then.

    • White women (especially feminists, ironically) love immigration and “diversity”, and will be the first to call you racist for opposing it. So they’re pretty much getting what they ask for when they support the importation of cultures who don’t respect women.

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