Positive cultural contribution

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 July, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 July, 1996, 12:00am

Your editorial of May 27, headlined, 'Preying on the vulnerable', does not properly reflect the character of international students studying in Australia or the world-class academics who teach them. Thousands of Hong Kong alumni of Australian institutions, and parents of Hong Kong students currently studying in Australia, well know that the standards of quality and integrity among academics in Australian universities are second to none in the world.

The truth of this matter is that one allegation by one international student that a junior part-time tutor in one institution requested money is being investigated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, in New South Wales. It is a single isolated allegation being properly dealt with by relevant authorities of the highest level and integrity, where no determination of wrongdoing has as yet been made against any Australian academic.

The claim that 'corrupt practices seem to be widespread' cannot be sustained. Far from being 'submissive', 'intimidated' 'hapless' and 'vulnerable' as your editorial depicts them to be, international students in Australia have been a strong dynamic force for positive cultural and academic diversity and change in Australian universities and society.

Universities have many international clubs and associations established by Australian and international students themselves, as well as international student advisers appointed to deal with concerns and problems.

AMANDA VANSTONE Minister for Employment Education, Training and Youth Affairs