The Victorian Ombudsman has released the Investigation into how universities deal with students report, outlining a number of key findings on how Victorian Universities treat their international student populations.


Victorian Ombudsman George Brouwer outlines a number of concerns in the report, stating that the current trend in recent years has given him cause fo concern with the way Victorian univerities deal with international students.


“International education has become a key focus of universities. The number of international students enrolled in onshore higher education courses at Victorian universities tripled between 2000 and 2009 to almost 67,000 students. In 2009, Victorian universities collected $1.16 billion from fee-paying international students, or around 20 per cent of their revenue,” Mr Brouwer said in the report.


The report finds that complaints from students have more than tripled in the last three years, from 176 in 2007-08 to 534 in 2010-11, with many of them coming from international students.


Mr Brouwer identified two major concerning patterns:


  • A number of international students struggle to communicate in English. This is despite the fact that universities are meant to ensure they have appropriate English language proficiency before admission.
  • Some universities have been the source of a disproportionately high number of complaints.


Mr Brouwer expressed his concerns over the treatment of student’s whose first language not English


“Most of Victoria’s international students come from countries in Asia where English is not the first language. I am concerned that universities are not doing enough to ensure these students have the English language skills they need to study successfully in Australia,” the report found.


The full report can be found here