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Ha! Ha! The Great International Student Bust Smashing the Universities! By James Reed
The evil, evil, more evil Australian universities may soon be facing showtime, because they have put all of their eggs in the one basket hoping that the international student market, read
“China,” will be a boom forever like the mining boom of a while back. The government rubs its dark claws together glad to be getting backdoor migrants. But, maybe not forever:
“Chinese international students are by far the biggest contributor to Australia’s education export industry. As at June 2019, there were 204,000 Chinese students enrolled in Australian educational institutions, comprising 29% of total international student enrolments. The number of Chinese international students studying in Australia is also roughly double second placed India (104,000) and quadruple Nepal (52,000), as illustrated in the next chart: Late last month, the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) sounded the alarm on this dependence, warning that a sharp pullback in Chinese student numbers could severely damage the finances of Australia’s tertiary institutions: International comparisons reveal the excessiveness of this China exposure. All seven [major universities] have higher proportions of international and Chinese students than any university in the entire United States. Indeed, all seven appear to be more dependent on feepaying Chinese students than just about any other universities in the English-speaking world. Late last month, the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) sounded the alarm on this dependence, warning that a sharp pullback in Chinese student numbers could severely damage the finances of Australia’s tertiary institutions: International comparisons reveal the excessiveness of this China exposure. All seven [major universities] have higher proportions of international and Chinese students than any university in the entire United States. Indeed, all seven appear to be more dependent on feepaying Chinese students than just about any other universities in the English-speaking world.
Refer to the article for all of the technical chart, if you like. Here is some more from Alan Kohler:
“Whatever happens next in the US-China trade war, and absolutely no one knows what that might be, it’s clear that a fundamental reset of the relationship between the world’s two most important countries is taking place. On Sunday the struggle entered its next phase with the new round of President Trump’s tariffs taking effect – 15 per cent on about $US150 billion worth of new imports from China, which brings the average tariff on Chinese imports to 21.2 per cent. When Trump came to office it was 3.1 per cent. Also on Sunday, China started charging a 33 per cent tariff on American soybeans, and in two weeks, American cars and car parts will be taxed at 42.6 per cent. This is all unsettling enough, but the problem for Australia in focusing on tariffs and trade, and hoping those issues can be resolved, is that the integration of the US and China runs much deeper than trade, and the decoupling that’s taking place is therefore much deeper and more fundamental as well, and could therefore be more threatening to Australia the deeper it goes. And the most significant threat is not to resources exports, which China needs, but to Australian education, which it doesn’t. The Australian government has, in effect, outsourced the funding of tertiary education to Chinese full-fee-paying students.
There are currently more than 150,000 Chinese students in Australia and according to the Centre for Independent Studies they represent between 13 per cent (ANU) and 23 per cent (Sydney Uni) of university revenues. They could easily be accommodated in China’s burgeoning universities. One vice-chancellor told me last week that for his university the yield (profit margin) from domestic students was 22 per cent, whereas for international students he gets to keep 62 per cent to spend on infrastructure. Efforts to find an alternative to this funding, starting with Christopher Pyne’s bungled fee deregulation in 2015, have all failed. If Chinese students stopped coming because of Australia’s alliance with the United States, there would be no fallback and the effect on university funding would be devastating. None of the university vice-chancellors thinks that is impossible, and all are worried. They remember too clearly the 50 per cent drop in Indian students in 2009 caused by a small but high-profile spate of attacks on them as well as a change to visa policy. But while they are now desperately seeking alternatives to the current funding structure, they can’t do it alone, and there is no stomach in the government to revisit university fees, especially if it means increasing them, which of course it would.
It isn’t just the funding of infrastructure and academic salaries that would come under threat, but the all-important research, so much of which is being done in partnership with Chinese universities. In fact the relationship between Australian and Chinese universities is almost as close as that between the American and Chinese universities, and that’s saying something. It’s the corporate and academic integration between America and China, built up since the normalisation of ties in 1978 and especially since China entered the WTO in 2001, that is now being specifically targeted by Trump and the US Republican Party establishment. Trump let the cat out of the bag a bit on August 23 when he tweeted: “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China.” That sent the Dow Jones down 623 points, and a couple of his lieutenants were dispatched to water it down, but it’s clear that the integration of these two great powers has reached its political limit and some decoupling is going to occur. The only question is how rancorous and difficult it is, and to what extent Australia gets caught in the crossfire.”
As far as I am concerned, the universities deserve to all be “smashed,” in the technical sense defined in the articles above, being hopeless outdated immigration sources. At present they are not linked to nation building, only to nation smashing, dismantling Australia’s traditional identity. The sooner they are “smashed,” as defined, the better.