Georgiou: Boost in foreign students will cost jobs for locals

WA Senator Peter Georgiou has slammed the WA Labor Government’s push to double the overseas student intake to 100,000 by 2025, warning that “it will cost jobs for locals”.

His concerns come after media reports revealed Study Perth announced its seven year plan to increase the overseas student intake to 100-thousand by the middle of next decade, a move the State Government has seemingly supported saying it wants to market Perth as an international student destination.

In 2008, WA’s foreign student intake stood at 41,000. Right now it sits around 51,000.

Senator Georgiou acknowledged that international education was a multi-billion dollar industry for universities and the national economy. However the influx of more overseas students would create unnecessary competition for jobs between locals and overseas students.

“If anything we need our youth and unemployed to take up the jobs overseas students would otherwise grab when they study here. Foreign students pay lots of money to access our education system but they should be self-funded and be denied any right to work here when studying. Otherwise they’ll be competing with youngsters for part-time and eventually full-time jobs” Senator Georgiou said.

“Right now industries are crying foul, wanting us to believe we have a skills shortage. How is that so when we have the highest unemployment rate in the country at 6.3 percent, our housing market is the flattest in decades and wages have stagnated for years”.

“There were 380-000 student visas granted nationwide last year. Many of these students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours a week and upon completing their degrees at least 20-percent will be eligible for residency and or citizenship”.

“The whole system is a farce and it needs to be called out” the Senator added.

“We should not be importing cheap labor to prop up universities and language centres so they can make a quick buck while our own suffer”.