Download: Submission on Temporary Migration
It is crucial to consider what inequalities are now being exacerbated within the Australian higher education system, given high fees, low levels of income support, limited availability of scholarships for research students, and the blurred lines between work and study relationships. These are particular issues for international students. Australian universities have a growing record of underpayment and non-payment of their employees, and their students are open to exploitation.
Experiences within the sector—especially among those most vulnerable to exploitation (e.g., international students)—reveal problems in Australian Industrial Relations more broadly. Yet international students, and especially postgraduate students, have the capacity to make major contributions to Australian society. On this basis, CAPA’s recommendations are as follows:
Recommendation 1: Reduce job seeking inequalities between temporary visa holders (student visa) and permanent migrants by enforcing Federal discrimination laws:
A) Offer additional services, information, and support for international students to understand the discrimination laws of Australia.
B) Enforce penalties for employers that openly discriminate against employing recently graduated international students on a temporary visa.
Recommendation 2: Launch an inquiry into international student exploitation across Australia, including the underpayment and non-payment of international student employees. This would aim to:
A) Provide adequate and clear employment information for international students
B) Offer services and support in cases of international student exploitation
C) Enforce penalties for non-compliant employers