Student industry review needed: Crabtree

May 01, 2019

A comprehensive review of the international student industry is urgently needed to assess the true costs and benefits to Australia, according to Conservative Party WA Senate Candidate Jonathan Crabtree.

Mr Crabtree also called for an overhaul of student visa rules, citing a recent report showing that the explosion in international student numbers was contributing to Australia’s extremely high levels of net overseas migration (NOM). In 2017-18, net overseas migration to Australia was 236,733 – one of the highest per capita immigration rates in the world.
The report by the Australian Population Research Institute states that the universities’ growing reliance on full-fee paying overseas students as a source of revenue has eroded education standards.
According to the report, universities have adjusted their curriculums and teaching standards to accommodate the limited academic preparation and often poor English skills of international students.
For wider Australian society, the foreign student influx has had significant negative effects on the labour market and quality of life in Australia’s increasingly-clogged, overburdened major cities.
Mr Crabtree said that the report highlighted a number of serious problems with the current system that needed to be tackled in Canberra.
“It is increasingly clear that the indirect costs of the current system on the wider Australian community have not been properly accounted for by governments,” Mr Crabtree said.
“Unlike other developed Western countries, Australia allows overseas students to stay in the country and apply for permanent residency after completing their courses. This uncapped foreign student influx has contributed to an extraordinary surge in long-term migrant numbers.
“The Australian Conservatives in the Senate will push for a tightening up of student visa rules and a full review into the foreign student industry. The system needs to be reformed to ensure it is working for the benefit of the nation, not special interests."
“The Australian Conservatives have also committed to cleaning up immigration rorts and halving the permanent immigration intake.”
Mr Crabtree said the major parties could not be trusted to reduce immigration and that’s why it's vitally important that more Australian Conservatives Senators are elected at the May 18 federal election.  
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