Foreign students 'aren't just cash cows', says uni rep

A student representative has slammed the Coalition’s plans to cut migration by potentially targeting foreign academics and trainees.

Lily Yuen, president of La Trobe University’s international students’ association, told the Age she felt the "shocking" proposals were ignoring the many benefits that foreign students bring to the country.

’’International students don’t just contribute economically to Australia, but also to our cultural diversity. We’re not just cash cows – we actually provide other benefits and skills,’’ she said.

Ms Yuen, who left her home in Mauritius to take up her tertiary studies in Melbourne last year, was speaking after opposition leader Tony Abbott announced that a Coalition government would cut the annual immigration intake to 170,000 places, compared with a peak of 300,000 two years ago, as a means of controlling population.

As the Age noted, when questioned about whether he would cut the nation’s student intake in order to achieve his aim, Mr Abbott said he did not want to see the country sell immigration outcomes "in the guise of selling education’’.

The news may interest those looking to compare student banking in search of the best financing options. Last week, Evan Jacobs of claimed that students should look to manage their finances and consolidate loans in order to get a "nice boost" to their credit history upon leaving university.

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