After the cheating/plagiarism issue, we come to the obvious, that some universities are … well … let the papers say it shall we?
“Adelaide University is one of the most overexposed institutions to the Chinese student market in the English-speaking world, putting it at great financial risk from any downturn, a report warns. A Centre for Independent Studies report lists Adelaide among seven “elite” Australian universities with “extraordinary levels of exposure” to the Chinese “cash cow”. It says Chinese nationals account for 53.8 per cent of Adelaide’s international students and 15.8 per cent of all its enrolments. Income from Chinese students was 13 per cent of Adelaide’s total revenue in 2017 – $120 million out of $929 million. All international students were worth $204 million to the uni that year. From 2001-17, Adelaide grew its overseas student numbers by 322 per cent, compared to 49 per cent for domestic students. Its foreign student numbers are up 27 per cent this year alone, to more than 10,000. The report says the biggest financial risk factors are a Chinese recession, China introducing tighter currency controls on what its citizens can spend on foreign education, or adverse movements in exchange rates. It says small percentage declines in Chinese enrolments could cause “significant financial hardship” to universities, while large declines would be “catastrophic”. The bad news for taxpayers is that, like banks, universities are “too big to fail” and would need government bailouts, according to the report. Adelaide vice-chancellor Peter Rathjen has previously blamed government funding woes for universities being “addicted” to foreign student revenue. But the report rejects that argument, noting the biggest proportional rises in foreign student were in periods of funding increases. Adelaide and UniSA bosses this week spoke of the need to “diversify” foreign student intake to reduce risk, but the report says that is “doomed to fail” because India is too poor and other markets too small. The report says unis “routinely compromise” entry standards for foreign students via foundation courses, but Adelaide said its standards were the same regardless of the pathway. The uni said foreign students’ contribution to SA was more than economic.’’