NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ992223
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug-6
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
From Foreign Students, Hardly a Ringing Endorsement for Australia
Woodward, Susan
Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug 2012
While government surveys report that international students are content, a burgeoning foreign-student movement and a growing body of academic research suggest that the truth is more complicated. In these forums, many students from China, India, and elsewhere report a range of experiences from feelings of loneliness to incidents of outright discrimination. They say they are often left with the sense that Australia cares little for them beyond the amount of money they contribute to the economy. Such attitudes come at a particularly critical time for Australia's international-education sector. For 20 years, higher education in Australia enjoyed consistent, enviable growth in foreign-student enrollments, rising 18 per cent per year from 2006 to 2009, when students from abroad made up 36 per cent of the 630,000 students enrolled in the university and vocational sectors. That all came to an abrupt end after a spate of violent attacks against Indian students in 2009, which led to a government crackdown on "rogue" vocational colleges and the easy pathways to permanent residency they were peddling. As the government restricted student visas, the amount of money brought in through international-student enrollments plummeted 12.5 per cent in 18 months, to $15.2-billion (Australian). Damage to Australia's reputation and a strengthened local dollar are thought to have contributed to the fall. The attacks also began a very public conversation about the ways in which international students are treated in Australia. Now the government has created an advisory council of eminent academics and businessmen and -women charged with developing a five-year strategy to reinvigorate international education. It has also formed a roundtable, now in its third year, to receive feedback directly from dozens of international students. The international education sector has welcomed such efforts. But students and other observers want to see decision makers put more effort into ensuring that international students have positive experiences--academically, socially, and culturally--while in Australia.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia