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Universities need to do more to keep international students safe

15 3 0

Australia prides itself on being a safe travel destination. And feeling safe is one of the leading considerations for international students when choosing to study here.

So, a spate of robberies and physical attacks targeting international students in Melbourne in recent weeks is particularly concerning. This is especially so on the tail of media accusations that Australian universities are treating international students as “cash cows” .

Admittedly, international education is huge business. In the 2017-18 financial year, more than 500,000 international students injected nearly A$32 billion into Australia’s economy. The majority of these were university students.

SEE ALSO: Put off by US, Chinese students eye other universities

International education is also Australia’s third-largest export earner. As Universities Australia’s Deputy Chief Executive Anne-Marie Lansdown said last year:

Australians should be fiercely proud of this incredibly important industry. They should also be fiercely protective of it.

And this means being protective of its customers.

Federal education minister Dan Tehan responded quickly to the Melbourne attacks. He said the government was working with education providers to “ensure Australia is a safe and welcoming country for international students”.

UPDATE: Australia's education department has been asked to ensure the safety of international students, after a series of robberies near a Melbourne university. @AJ101East finds out why international students can be vulnerable to assault: https://t.co/siEtqg87j2 pic.twitter.com/neKk8lfdOV

— 101 East Al Jazeera (@AJ101East) June 4, 2019

Many safety frameworks already exist. The 2018 National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students requires........

© Asian Correspondent