Thursday, 13 May 2010

Last week, there was a book review that was in The Australian about the way international students are treated here in Australia.

"International Student Security" is a book written by Simon Marginson, Chris Nyland, Erlenawati Sawir and Helen Forbes-Mewett.

International students do not always enjoy full security and non-European students, especially, experience exclusions in the foreign land.

That's part of the excerpt from the book. Additionally, the review by Andrew Trounson also highlighted the key issues found in the book:

A preoccupation with revenue generation in the face of chronic government underfunding, the reflex denial of problems, and the lack of care and rights for students caught in the nowhere zone between states all contributed to last year's crisis in student welfare.

It culminated in protests and frenzied diplomacy with India after foreign students were targeted in a spate of sometimes deadly assaults.

At its root it has been a failure to see and value international students as people, Marginson says.

"We separate them from the circle of our humanism, the generosity we extend to ourselves and perhaps to short term visitors," the University of Melbourne's professor of higher education tells the HES on the eve of the publication of International Student Security.

While the book would make an interesting read, I find that in some ways, I do not agree with the authors. I actually feel that my university is treating me well. There are programs for international students to adapt to the Australian system and culture, and the staff are helpful and understanding too. Also, part of the excerpt described the international student as someone who came from a poor nation whose family's hopes lie on them, to get educated, go home and support the family. Isn't that a very traditional and outdated way of thinking?

Art Gallery of South Australia

Not that I'm taking anything away from the authors, I mean there have been cases of racial discrimination; I myself have experienced it once here.

In yesterday's Higher Education section of The Australian, it was reported that a student protest was held yesterday. Also, apparently international student applications have dropped 40 per cent because of the visa crackdowns on international students.

Now isn't it funny that it seems that we international students are becoming less accepted now? I mean, isn't Australia like another land of opportunity? Where people go to seek brighter futures? The coming months will definitely be interesting to see what happens.

Although I must say, at my uni I've not felt unwelcome; everyone's treated me very well. And right now, I should return to my assignments.
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