Are international students treated unfairly in Australia?

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Are international students treated unfairly in Australia?


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Old 06-08-2009, 02:40 AM
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Are international students treated unfairly in Australia?

I was reading about the protests by Indian students. They said they feel like "cash cows" and were often discriminated against and treated unfairly.

Anyone care to share their experience?

Quote:
At the rally, National Union of Students president David Barrow said the government policy towards foreign students was ``discriminatory''. ``For too long, the education sector and the government have treated international students like cash cow, not like human beings,' Barrow said.

He said overseas university student fees were rising, landlords and employers were taking advantage and they can't survive under visas limits of a maximum of 20 hours of work a week. ``It is not acceptable to have 10 or 15 students crammed into an apartment being charged $150 a week (each),'' Barrow said.

The students also called for Australia's education and immigration policy to be overhauled so overseas students are protected from dodgy landlords and employers and receive the same benefits as domestic students.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:55 AM
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Haven't followed the issue too closely Mike other than hearing of initial attack reported on an Indian student though did not have a chance to glean much in way of detail and then there was a sit in down outside Flinders St. railway station, right in Flinders/Swanston intersection and that went the usual way of ugliness that such events can.

Next I read was of the protest in Sydney and there was mention of an 'ethnic' gang turning up and again things got ugly and accusations that Police have stood by whilst attacks occurred - not too sure of the veracity of that claim and there have been a couple of arrests reported.

As to the claims of the NUSP I'm not surprised at his words for who else would a student body hope for help from other than a government using taxpayers funds?

I reckon he is a bit off the mark however for as hard as it may be for students, we're a long way from free education even for Australian citizens and there would be plenty of Uni students who could relate to working part-time jobs to eke out a living while studying, my own experience of working and studying part-time being no different.

Likewise, his claim of international students being treated by the government as a cash cow is a bit misdirected for other than visa fees - fees designed to offset application administration costs [same deal for most visas I expect], the government is getting zilch other than any indirect taxation income.

There is as expected a huge cost to moving countries to study and a look at student visa eligibility - Higher Education Sector: Temporary Visa (Subclass 573) - Assessment Level 4 gives an indication of what costs may be involved

With the NUSP saying " overseas university student fees were rising, landlords and employers were taking advantage and they can't survive under visas limits of a maximum of 20 hours of work a week. ``It is not acceptable to have 10 or 15 students crammed into an apartment being charged $150 a week (each),''
. accommodation shortages occur for many people and there'll always be some landlords out to make whatever they can, and re:

" The students also called for Australia's education and immigration policy to be overhauled so overseas students are protected from dodgy landlords and employers and receive the same benefits as domestic students."

Prospective students need to look at immigration regulations closely and then decide if they'll have sufficient funds, any work they can get which btw is unlimited between study periods being a bonus.

Immigration is not involved in running education institutions nor the real estate industry and if anything I'd suspect that immigration is not as thorough as it should be in ensuring that interstate students do have sufficient funds to see them through study.

Meanwhile in an ailing economy we have and will have more and more Australians hoping to get some form of employment be it part-time or whatever to see them through harder times and perhaps the opportunities for student part-time work may be even less than what it is currently.

It would seem from a previous post or two on here a while back that there could be some extent of misrepresentation or a lack of full lifestyle details presented going on by educational organisations agents in recruiting students but surely when it comes to a look at immigration requirements and they see what economics are referred to in eligibility they might just start asking some questions - Buyer beware!



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Old 06-10-2009, 07:29 AM
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Wanderer, all good valid points. I also did part-time jobs to support myself while I was at university.

I did notice though when I was at university most of the local and overseas students kept apart a bit. Although I did have some good friends from other countries including Pakistan, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

It would be nice to get some feedback from Indian forum members on how they feel about this issue, even if they aren't living in Australia.

I suspect many overseas students have big dreams when they visit Australia - to finish their studies and then find work in the country. It might be possible in a booming economy, but right now things are tough.

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Old 07-13-2009, 02:32 AM
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I only just found this topic and although it seems no one has posted since June I figured I should put my two cents in considering I was an International Student in Melbourne for four years.

-Cash cow issue: well, to be honest I actually used those words but not with the same emotions associated. I had issues with my uni where, despite the amount of money I am paying there were points in time where they simply could not get the simplests details about me correctly and continously demanded my presence at english as a second language meetings when i was not enrolled in such a course, and when I speak perfect english and have been educated in it my whole life. That made me angry. It also bothered me at times when course fee's were ESPECIALLY high (im talking double digits) despite the fact that there were only 2.5 contact hours a week for the course and minimal interaction with a lecturer.

Another issue i found was that some lecturers had no time for me because they expected me to go back to my home country to work so they put as little effort into me as possible--now THAT made me feel like a cash cow.

That being said--i could have left and gotten a cheaper education wherever I wished. I wanted to go to australia so, I paid for it. I only wished I would have received a better service at times, and I assume I would have wanted such a service whether i paid $1 or a million.

I don't think internation students are treated unfairly when it comes to housing and living costs--they are the same for everyone in Oz. The difference is that many international student fall prey to certain scams, while others simply refuse to live in a manner less than or in a location less than they are accustomed to.

Moreover, since one KNOWS australian study is so expensive and since one KNOWS that you cannot work more that 20 hours a week, you should prepare. Friends of mine have done loans and part time work during uni, and full time work during uni holidays. Worked fine.

I hate the international student "stigma" about keeping to yourself and not speaking the language. Not ALL international students are like that. I went to Oz to live as an Australian for a while. That I did, mixed with many aussies many of whom are now lifelong friends. I met the boy of my dreams there.

Moreover, why should an international student receive the same benefits as a domestic student when they have never paid australian and tax and neither have their parents and never will through the course of their education? Same benefits as in equal treatment? Yes. Same finacial benefits, no.

Although I do think we should be allowed to get SOME consession on public transport. Surely a bit of our tuition could go to that?

Basically--yeah there are a lot of downsides to being an international student in australia, but the benefits far outweigh the good. You should do your research before coming and then if you are surpised by the treatment it is no ones fault but your own. How about visiting first and meeting some people and seeing if you think you should go to school there? You can't complain about costs if you paid your tuition before you even got your visa to go there.

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Old 07-17-2009, 12:48 PM
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I do not doubt that you encountered poor lecturer performance elkitten for that is possible at all levels of education and in all walks of life as to ability of people and yes, it would certainly seem to hit harder when as an international student you have paid more.

It is not as though you have any option for swapping courses/colleges etc. either for it is all tied in with the visa.
It'd also be great if there was a far more thorough assessment of teaching performances and again that applies to all professions but again sadly you probably only have a certain pool of people to draw from for any profession.

On scams, I wouldn't mind betting that they could even be operated by people of same nationalities as the students and yes it would be great to get better assimilation and good that you managed that for yourself.

It's hard for people outside of the scene to fully appreciate what it may be like and most people in mainstream life, myself included would most likely have minimal contact with international students, so thankyou for the insight.

I do know that it is very much an industry and one the government needs to question for on one hand we're attracting so many international students, some because of the carrot being dangled for permanent residency whilst at the same time a lot of professional and associated services employment is going offshore - a bit rediculous from a nation building exercise to be effectively just building a greater pool of higher educated unemployed.

Meanwhile we then have so many shortages for trades people and other such practical areas of employment which will also hurt our communities, and then on top of all that for now we have the global economic mess.



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Old 07-18-2009, 04:56 PM
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It's not unfair--its logical and perfectly acceptable for a government to safeguard their country this way. It's not discriminatory either--it is a policy that applies to all international students, Canadians like me, and Indians alike.

Of course, the housing scams are not fair (for anyone), that's not what I mean.

I mean that: a) International students (not just indian international students) cannot work more than 20 hours a week during semesters to ensure that we are genuinly there to study and not to work illegally. Moreover, we get a benefit through this that Australians don't--once your course is over, you can claim back ALL the tax you have paid on your wages.

b) Fee's are much higher. Well, if an international student was going to study in your country (any country other than their own!), they would be paying much higher fees as well. This is a source of income which im sure betters education systems, and at the same time, can deter people who mean to enter Australia to work illegally. As I said in my previous post, in some instances, I wish the payment system was not based on "credit units" as I feel one of my courses was way overpriced, BUT, I chose to do the course, I chose to study in Australia, I knew it was going to be expensive. It's not unfair, its just the way it is. What is the government supposed to do? Raise fee's for domestic students to subsidise the cost and in so doing detering some of their own people not to persue a higher education? Are international students supposed to get on HECS? How could the government POSSIBLY police that without forcing student to hand over their passports and not leave the country until they have paid back their debt?

Wanderer--you're right, i probably would have had problems with lecturers anywhere, good point. I guess it was just those things that would grind my gears about being an international student, but, like i said I chose to go, and I stayed and despite the gigantic costs, I'm so happy I did.

One big plus of being an international student in Australia is super cheap "international student health insurance." I have gone to the doctor with my Aussie BF and where my service was free, he had to pay first and get paid back later. I went to the hospital once and never even got invoiced. I could go to the doctor whenever I needed and wanted, and I also received certain "girl-specific" services for free--huge advantage! (that's not to say that aussies don't also get excellent health care through medicare! Medicare is fantastic from all accounts ive seen! I'm simply making the point that, you don't get such good medical treatment in certain countries if you chose somewhere else as an international student).

Of course, I'm sure somethings could be "tweaked" and made a little more appealing to bring even more international students in, and something needs to be done about housing scams. I agree with you Wanderer, im sure a lot of the scams are created within same nationality groups--what to do? Better "education" resources about living in Australia and making sure that everyone does their research.

Working hours? Maybe one could apply to be able to work more hours if they prove that they maintain strict class attendence and maintain above average marks? Hmmmmm....maybe I should call K Rudd about it, what do you think? =)

But at the end of the day, if you don't like it, don't go in the first place, or leave. Simple as that.


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Old 07-19-2009, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Working hours? Maybe one could apply to be able to work more hours if they prove that they maintain strict class attendence and maintain above average marks? Hmmmmm....maybe I should call K Rudd about it, what do you think? =)
Don't know about a call to Kruddster helping too much elkitten for I do doubt his ability and that of some of his ministers rather greatly without saying he is a complete dill - but he does seem to do more pandering to the media and through them he hopes the public without really achieving too much other than putting the government budgeting further and further into deficit.

But on the working hours, I reckon you have to be a little practical for you would know yourself that a full study load with assignements and all does not leave a heap of free time and I'd reckon that plus 20 hours plus whatever is done under the table would be more than enough.
I was doing it the other way as a cadet engineer working for next to nothing in early days and going to night school and that was bad enough.

With everything else you have written, fully agree and good that you enjoyed your study and Australia - still the lucky country, comparatively speaking.



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Old 01-03-2010, 10:13 AM
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Here is my 2 cents on this.

Firstly no one is forcing Indian students to be here. They know how much they will pay in fees, they know that they wont get the same treatment as Australian citizens with regards to medical/social/travel benefits so no point complaining once coming here.

As for "racism". There is some form of violence in every country. In India everyone is from same race and yet there is higher level of killing going on, why? Hindus don't get along with Muslims, Sikhs dont get along with Hindus, the caste system though that issue is slowing going down.

So I wouldnt pick white Anglo-Saxon Australians when my own lot are heavily discriminating/killing people for simply being of different religion/caste.

Thirdly asking PM to protect indians is a bit ludicrous. What's going to stop me from taking a kitchen knife and walk down the road right now and randomly stab an Indian person? Nothing. Unless you assign a bodyguard for every Indian student you cant stop attacks.

Just for the record before I get accused of bias and racism, I am from the subcontinent, I studied high school and university here as international student paying approximately $70,000 in past 8 years. Yes, while I feel like a cash crop, I realise I choose this path and wouldn't blame anyone else for it.

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Old 01-08-2010, 01:24 AM
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you can check out the Association of Australian Education Representatives in India site here AAERI : Association of Australian Education Representatives in India they have an on going proactive campaign to amplify its agenda of ensuring the safety of Indian students studying in Australia.they have an 8 point action plan to address challenges faced by Indian students.

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Old 04-27-2010, 03:20 AM
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I was an international student when I did my masters in Australia and I did not find myself being discriminated. In fact, some locals were complaining to the international office why international students were getting better marks than their local counterparts, and the answer was simple-- international students study harder because they pay a lot more! while the fees really are higher for the non-Australian, I do not have a problem with that. If you came to Australia to study, be prepared to pay the cost. For as long as people similarly situated, i.e. international students, are charged the same rates, there is nothing discriminatory there.

With regards to the 20-hour work limit, it is a safeguard against people who purport to come to study but in reality are secretly joining the workforce. Besides, working while studying is quite tasking, and if one is allowed to work full-time while studying full-time, then that would be in the long run prejudicial to the student.

Just my side of it.


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