Thursday May 23, 2024

Is debacle too strong a term, or not strong enough? International Student Recruitment

International student recruitment caps in Australia – a review and discussion

In this latest episode of the Think Education podcast, Judith and myself were delighted to be joined by return guest, Dr Douglas Proctor, Pro Vice-Chancellor Global Engagement, Swinburne University of Technology.  We were delighted to have the opportunity to talk to Douglas again – even if the subject matter wasn’t all that cheerful in nature.

Douglas provided a deeply insightful and reasoned discussion regarding the recent changes in Australia regarding international student numbers and legislation to curtail and significantly reduce them. Douglas explained that there will be a system of caps put in place to regulate numbers and while these can be exceeded with a financial penalty, Ministers will also have the ability to prevent recruitment and even possibly licenses, should this occur.  While this seems like an extreme case and perhaps unlikely, the fact that the possibility exists is significant.  The capping of numbers will naturally have both a financial and practical impact.  As Douglas explained, in Australia, we are talking of a 48-billion-dollar industry.  In practical terms, there will be a considerable increase in the management and 

We talked about what the medium to long term goals were behind these decisions – impacting not just Australia but many other countries. Douglas made the insightful point that these decisions taken in one country, give license for others to follow suit and highlighted that issues don’t need to be real (allegations of international students taking up all available university places and accommodation), they only have to be believed to be real.  Douglas talked about the significant mechanisms that exist within Australia for universities to be able to communicate to government and that he is hopeful these will be avenues for discussion and influence.

Douglas remained optimistic (even if he had to squint to do so) about the future.  There are some good elements in the recent legislation and plans – namely a greater sense of regulation regarding students changing degrees/providers shortly after having arrived in Australia.

We talked about the role of TNE in all this.  Douglas saw this in a very positive light.  Not as a means to offset reduced international recruitment but as a fundamental function of Australian higher education.


#internationalstudentnumbers #australia #UK #Canada #TNE #recruitment #internationalisation #caps #leadership #mobility

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