Christopher Pyne must use this Thursday’s meeting of the new Co-ordinating Council for International Education to address the ongoing accusations of cheating and poor standards that threaten the reputation of Australian higher education.
The Productivity Commission, The Independent Commission Against Corruption, and ABC’s Four Corners have all raised concerns about the threat of cheating and students being graduated without actually being competent.
In the past week there have been further claims of cheating with website ‘Assignment Master’ being investigated by the Victorian curriculum watchdog and claims that some nursing students may be putting patients at risk because they have cheated.
Standards assurance must be the first item on the agenda for this new co-ordinating council. Reputation and high standards mean everything in international education; Australia is highly regarded as a quality provider of education worldwide.
The Abbott Government has a responsibility to protect our national reputation as a place of quality education.
When in Government Labor established the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA), which regulates quality in the university sector, but Christopher Pyne has stripped its budget by more than 40 per cent, making the job of policing standards so much harder.
Labor understands the importance of our education industry and that’s why we streamlined visa processing making it easier for international students to get a high quality education.
International education can only remain our third largest export industry if we work to strengthen the integrity of our system and address the issues of qualifications and standards.