International students keep coming

March arrivals were more than twice 2022

The Bureau of Stats reports 56 000 graced our shores, compared to 25 000 last year, still down 25 per cent on the last pre-Covid March, in 2019.

Which Catriona Jackson from Universities Australia considers good news. “These students are assets to our nation. They bring new knowledge, skills and perspectives, making Australia and our region stronger, smarter and better connected.”

Good-o but this is starting to look like a harder sell – with widespread allegations that study is being used as a cover for people coming for employment not education. The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade  inquiry into tourism and international education has heard hair-raising evidence of education agents rorting the system.

As the committee’s discussion paper suggest. “Education agents’ opportunistic behaviour can lead to substandard outcomes not only for client institutions as principals, but also for other key stakeholders, including students, governments and national education systems.”