Foreign students bully university lecturers to pass, by Max Maddison.
Australian university lecturers are being cowed into lowering their academic standards by “highly organised” networks of international students making co-ordinated attacks against any staff members whose assignments and examinations prove too difficult to pass.
Despite presenting themselves as the purveyors of elite education, academics at some of the country’s most prestigious universities said they had been forced to “dumb down” courses to ensure foreign students with little or no English were able to complete degrees — or else they risked being targeted by official complaints signed by groups of up to 100 pupils.
Academics are concerned the lowering of standards for overseas students means Australian students’ education is also suffering. …
From the coal face:
One professor, who teaches at a respected Group of Eight university in Sydney, said the complaints were taken so seriously by university management that they had the potential to derail careers.
“International students didn’t used to be organised but in the past two years that has all changed,” said the lecturer, who asked not to be named for fear of professional repercussions.
“Their studying strategy is usually memorisation: memorisation of sample questions, and they always request the exams from the previous year to memorise the answers, memorise the methods in a very narrow way, and they have an expectation that the exam this year is going to be very similar.
“If your exam questions are a bit challenging or written in a way that is different to what they have done before, then they will complain. There are groups that put together letters to complain, signed by 100 students. Then those letters go high up in the university and we can get into trouble. It has happened to several colleagues — it has happened to me.
Universities have become a defacto method of immigrating to Australia, which is probably what is driving this:
Another professor at a Group of Eight university said the situation had been exacerbated by an over-reliance on Australia’s $34bn international education industry and that foreign students were too often admitted to courses despite lacking the English skills needed to understand the subject.
“It is absolutely corrupt. It’s a disgraceful system — disgraceful,” she said. “I don’t know what passes for language training in China but most of the students I see from there haven’t even the most basic English skills and can’t construct a single, clear, grammatical sentence. And these are the masters (degree) candidates.”
She said the situation had also resulted in a dramatic surge in instances of cheating, and that complaints to university management were routinely ignored. …
All universities approached by The Australian — including the Group of Eight institutions — denied there was a problem when it comes to international students who cannot understand what they are being taught.
That’s not education. The system is corrupted by fees, immigration law, cheating, and overpaid administrators.
A reader adds:
You put your finger right on a key issue here. These people are shameless. Western countries are being wrecked in the short term interests of a few, among whom these overpaid — and dishonest — university administrators are a prime example. When the front-line teaching staff tell them there’s a problem with overseas students having insufficient English (all too believeable btw) they just deny it, i.e. lie through their teeth.