Sunday, August 26, 2007

welcome to oz...

...Enjoy your stay...

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witness the shitness (again)

Below is an article written by Adam Morton found on The Age website, published yesterday.
Long story short, it's an account of how RMIT University's Business Portfolio failed its international students again.
I suppose the rot starts at the top and that RMIT Business isn't entirely to blame because it's been given the licence to fuck its students over by the institution as a whole.
Read on:

RMIT admits student 'stuff-up'

August 25, 2007

RMIT University accepted fees of up to $8000 each from overseas students for the first semester this year before telling them on the eve of exams their enrolment had been cancelled.

The case — to be debated in a series of appeals hearings at RMIT next week — has re-ignited calls for Australian universities to accept a greater duty of care towards young foreigners who each pay tens of thousands of dollars in fees to keep universities in the black.

Seven RMIT students, six foreigners and one Australian, were allowed to attend class, hand in assignments and use university email and intranet sites for three months this year before being told they could not sit their June exams.

Due to what the university acknowledges was an "administrative stuff-up", termination letters sat in the students' files marked "return to sender".

Following an appeal, the seven were allowed to sit their exams.

Two had their enrolments reinstated but five — from China and Bahrain — are now in limbo: out of pocket for subjects the university decided they were not qualified to take, and facing the possibility their visas could be cancelled if their appeal fails.

Whatever the decision, the university says it has no plans to refund the students' fees.

Migration lawyer Tony Hinz, who is representing three of the students, said RMIT had handled the situation badly.

"If they tried to do this with Australian students there probably would be a national outcry, but they know with overseas students … there won't be the same repercussions."

Mr Hinz said the bungle was a symptom of a bigger problem. International students were often not given the support they deserved — and were legally entitled to.

With federal grants dwindling from 57 to 41 per cent of total revenue since 1996, universities rely on foreign student fees for a strong bottom line.

"The unfairness with the system is that these students keep the system afloat but they get second-class treatment compared to local students," Mr Hinz said.

RMIT academic registrar Maddy McMaster acknowledged the university had breached a federal code of practice by not having a documented intervention strategy for identifying and helping struggling students.

"We're very much aware that this was a problem and we've taken steps to address it so that it won't happen again. It was an awful thing to happen to these students," Ms McMaster said.

Under RMIT policy, students are warned if they fail 40 per cent of subjects in one semester, and can have their enrolment cancelled if the poor performance is repeated.

Ms McMaster said she had sympathy for the students but doubted they would be reimbursed.

"As I understand it, the decision to exclude shouldn't have been a surprise — they had poor performance in two consecutive semesters."

What RMIT probably can't admit to itself is that there are big problems with how it treats its international students and that its reputation as a leading university in Australia isn't entirely deserved so that word is reaching prospective international students back home (mostly China) about this. That is, RMIT's standing and reputation is beginning to fade amongst international students.
And RMIT only has itself to blame.
Yes, I'm aware I'm reifying an institution.
now playing: steve reich - phase patterns

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

happy birthday, baby!

Here's a cake I 'built' my boyfriend for his birthday.
(note the aqua teen hunger force reference)
Love you, Leigh. X
now playing: mc chris - i want candy

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Monday, August 06, 2007

let my pictures do the talking

No need for a narrative with these pix of my recent trip to Tas.
Wish I had a better camera.

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