Overseas students are clearly a massive revenue stream for Australian Universities. The internationalist in me says that they shouldn’t need to be fee paying to use our universities but let’s just put that down to some wide radical lefty ideal that bears little relevance at this point.
As this article would indicate, these students are viewed by the government, the universities and probably most of the Australia public as purely revenue streams. What a waste. Moreover, they are all rich and lead lives of luxury.
Sure, a lot of them are quite well-to-do, of course they are, they have had their education paid for and are being supported by their parents. But a lot of them aren’t. They have been sent over on their family’s life savings and are expected to get a job and support themselves. This is further compounded by the fact that they have a considerable amount of pressure on them to succeed considering they are being put through the university at great personal sacrifice to the families of these students.
It is largely because of these preconceived notions – as well as some quite unfortunate ethnic stereotypes – that these students are left to fend for themselves. This has several consequences. Firstly, an alarming number of these students live below the poverty line. Secondly, suicide and depression rates are also quite alarming due to the isolation they experience not knowing anyone, which is made worse by language issues. Finally, it can lead to a sort of ghettoisation which is a sad cultural loss for both the international students and the Australian public (remember when multiculturalism was considered a good thing).
So this is a long winded way of explaining why I support Polyglot and have had some involvement with them. As their web page says: “Polyglot is a non-profit organisation that aims to enhance the
experiences of International students living in and around Melbourne by providing friendly information and fostering relations with the local student Community.”
They’re a good bunch of kids too and are holding a function this Saturday – I’ll try and get the details and post there here a little later on.
Saturday 30th of April
@ The Bunker
407 Swanston St (opposite RMiT)
7pm – late