Universities are still zooming in on the Chinese student market


According to a recent report, Australian universities are struggling to raise money as the government’s border closure due to a pandemic has helped reduce the number of international students.Check statistics Significant reduction For students, especially those from China.

This decline may be due to the effects of Australia’s COVID-19 restrictions, especially the cancellation of international flights, but some Chinese students are reluctant to study in countries that are currently perceived as hostile to China. It may be the target.

The recently agreed AUKUS agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia may have provided Chinese leadership with evidence of this perceived hostility.Also, Australia’s higher education sector Set of guidelines To help counter foreign interference in the tertiary industry. However, there is recognition that these guidelines are directed at unwanted Chinese interference in universities.

In such an environment, despite concerns about the economic impact of COVID-19, a recent statement from the University of Sydney last fiscal year recorded a surplus of $ 106.6 million in 2020. That is amazing. The University of Queensland also reported (pdf) The consolidated surplus in 2020 will be $ 108.7 million.

So why can universities still make a profit when the market seems to be declining?

On April 6, 2016, students will walk on the campus of the University of Sydney, Australia.  (Brendon Thorne / Getty Images)
On April 6, 2016, students will walk on the campus of the University of Sydney, Australia. (Brendon Thorne / Getty Images)

A rough review of research units, for example, at the University of Sydney, reveals that many units are taken by Chinese students.

It is not uncommon for the number of students to change in a unit with about 70 students. However, by the start date of the lecture, about 60 students have Chinese names.

Of course, many Chinese-Australians live in Sydney, but certainly not enough to explain the large number of Chinese-extracted students in these college units.

In my experience, this is relevant statistics, as about 20% of students were Chinese in the pre-pandemic period. So why is the number of enrollments in certain university credits increasing, even though the number of Chinese students studying in Australia is declining overall?

In many cases, the answer is simple as well as simple. Of course, the answer is zoom. Zoom allows all students to enroll in the course, wherever they are. It may be correct to assume that many overseas students at the university are sitting comfortably in a lounge room or office in China (or elsewhere) listening to zoomed lectures and seminars.

If this assumption is correct, educational observers can draw some conclusions.

First, Zoom allows students to study from anywhere, so the enrollment of Chinese students does not decrease significantly, thus allowing universities to maintain their expected income.

Second, it also explains why Chinese students (or international students in general) currently make up the majority of some popular units and courses.

Third, the current Zoom culture ironically defeats the university’s interest in detecting foreign influences on campus. This may be because it is much more difficult to see foreign influences if foreign students are not physically on campus.

Fourth, the zoom phenomenon also affects academic freedom of speech. In fact, if you can’t see all the members of the class when using Zoom, scholars instinctively stop criticizing human rights abuses, especially by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Internet outage
A woman typing on a laptop. (AP Photo / Jenny Kane)

This is a relevant consideration, especially in courses on trade law that may deal with trade relations between China and Australia.

China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) on December 11, 2001. Prior to China’s accession, some countries did not extend most favored nation treatment to China due to insufficient human rights records.

This position under Article 1 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) would have allowed China to reduce tariffs agreed by WTO member states.

Therefore, countries that denied MFN treatment used trade laws, policies, or regulations for non-trade purposes, especially to achieve improved human rights records in China.

These countries have recently reached a million due to the massacre of Tiananmen Square, the removal of the victims of Falun Gong, the suppression of Uighurs in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the attacks on religious freedom, and the perception of the threat they pose to CCP rule. Will point out the mysterious disappearance of the elders. The list continues.

The only real winner of this ridiculous story is Zoom, an American company that has dominated the world on communication platforms over the last two years.

All this explains that the university is unlikely to give up zooming, probably in December 2021, even after the pandemic is over and students begin to return to campus.

Zoom classes are cheaper to run than face-to-face classes because you don’t need to have a lecture room. But real losers do need face-to-face instruction to improve students’ critical thinking and speaking skills, develop logical discussions, and hone their aptitude to learn tolerance. The quality of.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Gabriel Moens


GabriĆ«l A. Professor MoensAM is an emeritus professor at the University of Queensland and was a vice president, dean, and professor of law at Murdoch University. He published the novel “ATwisted Choice” on the origin of COVID-19 disease and recently published the short story “The Greedy Prospector” in the short story anthology “The Outback” (Boolarong Press, 2021).