- Date published:
7:02 am, June 13th, 2017 - 35 comments
Categories: education, Ethics, im/migration, labour - Tags: education, exploitation, foreign students, im/migration, list, tertiary education
Labour is right to stress the many advantages that immigration brings to NZ, and right to draw attention to the major way in which it is being abused – student visa scams. No doubt there are honest and effective private educational institutions, but there are far too many bad ones dragging the whole sector into disrepute. There’s a good summary in yesterday’s piece by Tracy Watkins on Stuff:
The Government’s on the wrong side of immigration debate
Bill English must have known he was in trouble when got himself in a pickle over Labour’s immigration policy by defending visas for people to stack supermarket shelves.
With immigration at record numbers and tens of thousands of young Kiwis either not in work or training, most people would struggle to fathom why we need to import people to stack baked beans. … English dodged questions over whether stacking supermarket shelves counted as a skilled occupation.
On that point (Emily Spink on Stuff): 90,000 young Kiwis have no job, no training to go to. That’s a massive failure of government, and a disaster for NZ. But back to Watkins:
A measure of that is the cautious welcome it [Labour’s policy] received from groups not usually seen as Labour cheerleaders, including Federated Farmers.
Labour’s plan leaves room for immigration to fill regional skills shortages in industries like farming while raising the bar in Auckland where the effects of soaring immigration have included a flood of students.
Little says the foreign student market is being used as a backdoor entry to residency via low level courses and low skilled work.
English counters that choking off the lucrative export education market risks killing the golden goose. But sympathy is likely to be with Labour on the issue. Behind the quick bucks in export education are too many headlines about student visa scams and foreign students being exploited by shady education providers. …
So English turns a blind eye to “shady education providers” as long as the “quick bucks” keep coming. How bad is it?
Immigration scam: ‘Corruption, organised crime’ with student visas
Government officials have warned that “corruption” and “organised crime” have infiltrated the system granting student visas from India. Documents obtained by Newshub show a senior immigration official warning that “organised crime may have penetrated the [student visa] process”. The Mumbai-based official also warned of “fraud” and “organised corruption”.
The documents raise questions about corruption in the process to enter New Zealand and worker exploitation once people arrive. …
NZ dream turns to nightmare for international students
The cash-for-job scam is now so common that Immigration New Zealand is investigating 55 possible cases. Anderson says the going rate for a “job letter” in Auckland is $20,000 to $25,000, but she has heard of payments up to $40,000.
Researchers say evidence has been building for years that foreign students are working in substandard conditions in the hope of winning long-term residency.
Collins points the finger at politicians, who he says are far too focused on getting revenue out of students, without considering their welfare. “The Government is quite clearly utilising various mechanisms… so that students can work in order to promote the export education scheme – that is to make money out of it and to use students as a commodity in that sector.” …
Take a bow Bill English. A few other pieces on this mess. Here:
Student visa fraud: ‘It’s not about education’
Written answers to parliamentary questions by Cunliffe have also established that Immigration NZ has 13 live investigations into potential student visa fraud at 12 tertiary education organisations (TEOs).
19 PTEs are classified by the Tertiary Education Commission as ‘high-risk’, with five ongoing Serious Fraud Office investigations and two providers at risk of default.
58 TEOs were investigated for potential probity (honesty) or major education delivery issues by either TEC or NZQA in 2015 (up by 61 per cent from the previous year). There were 46 investigations underway at August 1 this year.
Cunliffe argues that these figures don’t even scratch the surface of the real problem, which he puts down a lack of monitoring and enforcement. …
Student visa scam – It’s the tip of the iceberg
Since the Herald began publishing its three-part investigation into the student visa scandal, the emails have flooded in. Most have come from people in or close to the industry. Virtually all say the same thing – you are absolutely right, this is the tip of the iceberg, here is what happened in the place where I worked. Then most add – but please don’t publish my name, because I still need a job. The reluctance to speak out publicly is understandable but is also a crucial part of the problem. It seems clear from anecdotal evidence, as well as the number of investigations under way – 58 at last count – that cheating and fraud is widespread among education providers in the international student market. It’s impossible to put a number on it because any dishonesty is carefully hidden. But it seems this is not about a few “bad apples”. Any cheating occurs because of the way the system is set up. International education in New Zealand is designed to bring in as many students as possible, concentrating on revenue rather than high-level qualifications. It offers students a pathway to immigration through part-time work as they study and post-study work visas. And it has targeted India, where millions of people seek to escape a lifetime of poverty and corruption and some are prepared to cut corners for a better life in New Zealand. Not surprisingly, the system appears wide open to abuse.
Warning of ‘education trafficking’ scams hitting New Zealand
Indian student visa fraud numbers snowball
Qualifications in doubt at big school for international students: NZQA
Student cheated three times and still passed: Lecturer
Widespread fraud found among education agencies representing Indian students
The Big Read: The $25 million student funding scandal
More tertiary providers under investigation by Serious Fraud Office
15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
Foreign student intake suspended
Private school rorts revealed
Joyce denies double-standard as Indian students face deportation
Hundreds of students at risk of deportation
‘They don’t really come here to get educated’ – Indian student
South Auckland business school shut down after ‘failing to meet standards’
Schools with thousands of foreign students ‘similar to failed college in cheating scandal’
Three more tertiary providers under investigation
and so on.
As a country we are fleecing and exploiting far too many foreign students. It is shameful that we have allowed this situation to develop in NZ. It would be even more shameful if we allowed it to continue for the sake of easy money. Labour is right to address the problem head on.
As a former sham PTE teacher I reject they're all residency scams – some are sincere frauds against foreign students https://t.co/Hv2Oku6pLu
— Ben Thomas (@BenThomasNZ) June 12, 2017