Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Prepare for Regional Conflict to Keep Students Offshore

Dirk Mulder reports that 19% of international students enrolled in Australian universities are offshore (Dirk Mulder on where international students are (and aren't, Campus Morning Mail, 9 August 2022). This may be an underestimate, as it is based on government figures for the number  of students with visas (students studying purely online don't need a visa). The figure is higher for Chinese students (38%), and lower for Indian (10%). The students in China may be unable to travel due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, it may be that some of these students do not see value in travelling to Australia, and would prefer to study offshore. That option has only been available from a few universities and programs, with most requiring on campus participation. Also students may be taking advantage of Australian university not indicating on transcripts that students studied online. In investigating the possibility of Chinese and Indian students studying at Australian universities online before the pandemic, I noticed that particularly in the case of China online study had a poor reputation. 

Also, in 2016 I warned that international tensions may stop students studying on campus in Australia. The type of tension I had in mind is currently taking place around Taiwan. As I wrote in 2016, Australian universities should be prepared if tension deters, or prevents, students travelling to Australia. This could effect not only Chinese students, but also Indian students, and nationals of other countries in the region. The best way to prepare is to offer quality online learning with a campus option.

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