Australian Universities Must Include More Students From Ally Nations, Inquiry Suggests

An inquiry on national security threats in higher education and research sectors has recommended universities across Australia to recruit more students coming from the ally nations and make the international student groups more diverse.

The Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CSCRC) suggested the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security to expand international students and sources of research cooperation and funding by focusing on the development of beneficial partnerships with important allies, Erudera College News reports.

According to the CSCRC’s submission, the higher education and research sectors have been considered as easy targets for foreign spying over the years, relying mostly on international students as fee-paying undergraduates.

“Espionage and foreign interference will remain serious threats to Australia’s national security and, while there is no silver-bullet solution, risk management and mitigation strategies can help bolster the nation’s higher education and research sectors against intrusions,” the submission pointed out.

Data from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment revealed that Chinese students exceeded the number of students coming from other countries during 2019, the Canberra Times reports.

That year, 170,768 students in total were from China, accounting for 32 per cent of international students, the Canberra Times reports.

Whereas according to data published in 2018, 37 per cent of PhD students across Australia came from abroad, 75 of which were enrolled in majors related to science.

In addition, the CSCRC stated that focus should pass on involvement of students from nations that were socially, politically and strategically linked to Australia, claiming that such an action would strengthen the relations of Australia with its most crucial allies and promote worthwhile reciprocal partnerships.

At the same time, it recommended the reinforcement of research partnerships with Australia’s strategic alliances, mentioning the Five Eyes and the Quad.

Among others, the submission from CSCRC highlighted the importance of cybersecurity and protection of data and intellectual property at institutions.

Following this, Universities Australia has urged the government departments and agencies to make sure that the policies are coordinated regarding risks, as well called on the University Foreign Interference Taskforce to protect universities against interventions as a primary body.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra, Paddy Nixon, said that there is a need for more financial support for institutions and crucial portfolio agencies in order to stay in track with the increasing compliance requirements.

Get The Latest Higher Education News Sent Directly To Your Inbox

Recent Articles

Thousands of South Australian Students Receive Offers to Study at State’s Prestigious Universities

15,755 university offers have been made on January 15, 2021, to South Australia’s students aiming to continue higher education at one of...

Students in Lockdown: International Student in Germany Reveals Challenges

Just when Sheila Makena Mriti from Kenya was preparing to take her winter semester 2019 exams, due to a high number of...

Cambridge University Will Offer Free Foundation Year for Educationally & Socially Disadvantaged Students

The University of Cambridge has launched a free Foundation Year, which will offer the chance to educationally and socially disadvantaged students to...

University of Florida to Resume In-Person Lessons in Campus

The University of Florida has announced through a press release that it has gradually begun to bring more students back to campuses.

Canada: Incoming Students Must Show Negative COVID-19 Test Upon Arrival

The Canadian government announced on December 31 that every international traveller, including the incoming students, must show a negative COVID-19 test in...

Related Stories