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Australian university international student finances
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by H Forbes-Mewett, S Marginson, C Nyland, G Ramia, Erlenawati SawirErlenawati Sawir
The omission of international students from the Australian Vice-Chancellor’s Committee (AVCC) 2007 national study on student finances is indicative of a pattern of exclusion. The exclusion is unacceptable from a humane perspective and feeds the belief that Australians perceive international students primarily as ‘cash cows’. This study partially compensates by drawing on information derived from in-depth interviews with 200 international students across nine Australian universities. The data cast light on the sources and adequacy of international student income and how these students cope with the financial risks of living and studying in a foreign land. It is revealed that significant numbers of international students experience serious financial difficulties. Thus, we argue that government regulators and university managers should put into practice their affirmed belief that Australian university students should be treated in a consistent and caring manner. Further, we argue that AVCC should immediately commission a study to examine the financial circumstances of Australian university international students.