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Greens’ proposed Senate Inquiry to critically examine broader international education issues

The Greens say broader issues relating to the treatment of all international students in Australia deserve critical examination, which will be the purpose of their proposed Senate Inquiry.

Recent reports about attacks on Indian students in Melbourne and Sydney have cast national attention on the experiences of international students in this country. The Greens announced more than a month ago that they would move for a Senate Inquiry into international education in Australia, of which the National Union of Students and the Australian Federation of International Students are also in support.

“While attacks on Indian students, particularly those in Melbourne, have hit the headlines recently, these very nasty incidents should be ringing alarm bells about the overall experiences of all international students across this country,” said Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson for Education.

“Negative experiences for international students are not exclusive to Melbourne and Sydney, not exclusive to Indian students, and not just in the form of violent attacks.

“International education, as a booming industry for this country that has contributed not only income but cultural enrichment, deserves to be carefully examined through a Senate Inquiry.

“A Senate Inquiry into international education will provide an open, accountable process to look at these issues that all stakeholders and members of the public can be involved in.”

In addition to student safety, the Greens’ proposed Senate Inquiry through the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee would look at the role of education providers, migration agents, and government in providing service delivery, advice and support in:

• affordable housing
• social inclusion
• student visa requirements
• employment rights and protections from exploitation, and
• adequate international student supports and advocacy.

The Inquiry would aim to identify quality benchmarks and controls for service, advice and support for international students studying at Australian education institutions.

“The Greens urge the Senate to support this important Inquiry when it resumes sitting next week,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

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