Firstly I wanted to share with you a recent experience of editing...
I was asked to write a news piece on the rising number of International Students in Australian Universities, here's what I wrote :
According to a forthcoming research report to be issued by overseas student recruiter IDP Education, International Student demand in Australia will double in the next two decades with Universities struggling to meet the demand. Currently Overseas students comprise approximately 17% of the Australian student body with just over a quarter of those studying in Victoria, how much does and will this affect Victorian students?
Whilst not as big as input as we may be led to believe, International Students bring a lot of money to a University system that struggled after cuts in government funding (an estimated 39% of income, with 16% of that from International Students) bringing an estimated $11 billion to the Australian Economy, however a vast percentage of this benefit and impact is only felt in certain areas and in certain subjects.
Perhaps the most pressing issue is the that out of Australiaís 38 Universities only half claim to have the capacity and future capacity to cope with the increase in numbers and with International students a lucrative source of income, does this mean that Universities will start restricting enrolments to home students? Or that home students will find increasing pressure placed upon resources? Can local urban infrastructures cope? Most Australian cities are the grips of housing and transport crises without an added demand for inner city housing and living.
After the Federal Government's tightening of migration laws in 2005 to fulfil Australia's skills shortage Higher Education institutions are actually experiencing a slowing down of International Student demand, with demand in the TAFE sector rapidly growing, an astonishing 5% and 43% rise respectively, Primarily because courses at TAFE are cheaper, faster and more vocational. With most students enrolling on courses such as cooking and hairdressing and not some of the courses the Government probably hoped they would, it has led to an impression that some International Students are looking to Australia for Permanent Residency and not necessarily for a High Educational standard.
Considering the large amounts of money parted with (an average of $20,000 for a degree) International students are often taken advantage of in terms of housing and work, being denied certain privileges such as concessionary public transport or just poorly informed about their rights. Visa and language restrictions will generally push International Students into poorly paid and menial work, with hours impinging their ability for study. Additionally cultural differences can lead to a segregation of foreign and local students, with neither group really mixing with each other and sometimes leading to animosity and xenophobia
These are all issues reiterated and reinforced by several SRCís specialising in International Students (and who once were International Students) in the Victorian University system. Everyone hopes that Victorian Universities remain able to cope with all who are willing to study and embrace the Australian Studentís way of life.
And here's what they published :
A little different!
So, this week so far has been dominated by thoughts on corporations and America as on Sunday I watched The Corporation and on Monday, John Pilger's The War on Democracy. It's hard to know what to believe these days, whilst I will admit that the US does a lot of dabbling in International affairs, you like to think that what you hear on Western news bulletins is fairly true and honest but maybe I've been misled. Some of the activities that American multinationals and Government have been involved with (It could be said that they're intrinsically linked) are incredible, and the propaganda that surrounds those activities to make them seem acceptable equally so. I had a lot more I wanted to say on the issue, should have posted something on Monday night, watch the films, make your own mind up.
Finally, and on the subject of capitalism...
I have the third interview for the job I mentioned before this afternoon, it looks like I may get it... I have a mixture of feelings. Excitement, as it is a good job, one that will finally give me a job that uses my skills and knowledge. Worry, because I may lose the time I currently have to work on music stuff. However the money may be helpful, and if I organise time well, I will still be able to do all the things I do now, but not spend so much time looking for work.
Hmm... Got a few hours to think about it.