AUSTRALIA: International students save universities

Australian universities are so chronically under-funded in their teaching activities that every domestic undergraduate is effectively subsidised to the tune of AUD1,200 (US$1,293) by international student fees, write Andrew Trounson and Julie Hare for The Australian. That almost matches the government's own subsidy for domestic law and business students of $1,765 a year.

Glyn Davis, Vice-chancellor of the University of Melbourne, warned last week that this reliance meant that crashing international student numbers risked undermining Julia Gillard's government policies to dramatically boost domestic university participation.

"Since 2008, the number of visa applications for international students has fallen by 25%," said Davis. "On the one hand, the government wants a huge domestic expansion, but it is meant to be underpinned by the continuing success of the international market. If that fails, so will this. This is what props up the entire university system." An analysis of fees conducted by the University of Melbourne found that the total subsidy to domestic students from international students was $500 million a year.
Full report on The Australian site