The paper "International Student Security by Simon Maginson" is a wonderful example of a book review on education. “ International Student Security” , a book by Simon Maginson et al, 2010 focuses on the plight of international students in Australia. The first part of the book offers the background or an introductory analysis of the problem of international student security in Australia. It answers a few precursory questions in its subsequent chapters. First, it analyzes the international students in Australia. What is the social and economic security status of international students in Australia?
What are their perceptions about the dimensions of their human security? Are the problems they face unique or simply isolated incidents to which any student can be susceptible? The second chapter looks at the setting. Why Australia? What is the significance of using Australia and how can this be relevant to the experience of other countries such as the UK and the USA? This examines the background of the Australian higher education system, its current status, and the implications of Australia’ s geographic position on it’ s’ student populations. The subsequent chapters examine the global setting and identify key issues or areas of concern in international student security.
The regulatory framework governing the various formal and informal security dimensions is also considered and what implications this holds for international students. Students in the global market A few incident case-studies are used to introduce some of the dimensions of international student security and the challenges faced by international students in Australia. The first incident highlights the fact that student visa regulations do not allow international students or students with non-citizen status to work for more than 20 hours a week violation of which is grounds for cancellation for the visa.
The second case highlights what seems to be apparent neglect among University security and staff about the whereabouts of international students as a 25-year-old Chinese student is found dead in her apartment with forensic evidence estimating that she had been killed at least seven months earlier. The third incident highlights a racist motivated attack or what is considered as “ curry bashing” in which a pre-meditated attack is staged by a group of young men on a Chinese former student, staff member at a university cum researcher leading to his death.
The perpetrators of the crime, however, are let off with what appears to be light sentences despite the fact that this was a racially motivated attack. These incidents and others mentioned such as the death of a female student while attempting to escape a rape nominally suggest that international students in Australia are not guaranteed their human security rights. The incidents imply that international students face real security risks such as racist attacks and are not guaranteed equal consumer rights as local students.
The regulatory framework also seems to be lax thus allowing for security lapses which have resulted in attacks on foreign or international students. In an attempt to obtain the perspectives of international students about their perceptions of their human security, the authors conducted a qualitative study with the essence of international students as “ witnesses” to their own situation. The study interviewed 200 students from 35 different countries enrolled at 11 Australian universities. The sample was meant to capture a diverse as a possible representation of the international student population.
The interviews were structured to derive from the students their personal experiences on various aspects of human security. These include their personal safety status, housing, health, finances, issues at work, relations and experiences with university staff and fellow local students, relations with police and immigration, cultural issues such as discrimination and abuse, ability to communicate, isolation, and psychological issues such as loneliness. A group of local students was used as the control group. To try and ensure that the students interviewed opened up and provided honest and reliable information, a former international student from Indonesia with a Ph. D.
from Australia was used to administer semi-structured stem questions on the various issues. This was meant to foster trust between the respondents and the interviewers and provide more reliable data.