on air now

‘It’s going to be very difficult’: Morrison considers forcing international students to regional universities

Luke Grant

The Morrison Government has revealed it may look to roll out a decentralisation plan, where international students would be forced into university institutions in regional areas.

In a bid to ease the symptoms of overpopulation overrunning our cities, it’s thought the dispersion scheme may ease the infrastructure strain, stagnating wage growth and congestion that the 200,000 a year immigration intake has incubated in urban areas.

Morrison also anticipates the plan, if implemented, would relieve sky-high Sydney rent prices, with fewer wealthy international families competing in the market.

John Daley, CEO of the Grattan Institute, says whilst evening out the population is a worthy idea, he doubts the plan will work.

“It’s going to be difficult to make this happen,” he tells Luke Grant.

“Our universities basically take as many international students as they can get. If the regional universities could attract more students, they would be doing that now. But they’re not.”

“Half of international students study commerce. Regional unis typically charge $18,000 a year. The group of eight universities in city areas, they charge $32,000 a year. There’s a big premium those city unis can charge. That’s presumably because international students think they’re going to get a better education there.”

Daley says the ultimate drawcard for migrants is the city’s monopoly-like concentration of jobs.

“The problem we’ve got is most migrants wind up coming to the cities because that’s where we’re creating the jobs.”

“The worst possible outcome is to have a migrant that comes to Australia, goes to a region and doesn’t get a job.”

Click PLAY below to listen to the full interview

Luke Grant