‘The racial divide is embarrassing’: Comedian Meshel Laurie says she’s SICK of having to help Chinese students who don’t speak English after returning to university to get her master’s degree
- Comedian Meshel Laurie slammed university services to international students
- She said little support was offered to non-English speaking Chinese students
- The 46-year-old claimed native English speakers were forced to pick up slack
- She said they had become ‘unpaid tutors’ as they taught the foreign students
Comedian Meshel Laurie has blasted Australian universities for forcing English-speaking students to become ‘unpaid tutors’ to their Chinese classmates.
Laurie hit out at universities for not providing enough services to international students to make sure they understand the course material.
She claimed native English speakers would deliberately be grouped with the students and it would become their responsibility to bring them up to speed.
Comedian Meshel Laurie has complained local university students have become ‘unpaid tutors’ to their non-English speaking Chinese classmates
‘It’s a neat trick: group assessment (with groups allocated by instructors) in courses overloaded with full-fee-paying, non-English speaking students means the English speakers bear the burden of catching the others up, translating the course content for them and helping them pass,’ she wrote for Sydney Morning Herald.
Laurie is a mother-of-two, television presenter and co-host of the popular Australian True Crime podcast.
The 46-year-old revealed she had decided to squeeze a Masters in Media into her busy schedule, but found she was doing a lot more than she signed up for just five weeks into her degree.
‘I’ve spent time in every class assisting non-English speaking students to comprehend the lesson and complete the set task,’ she wrote.
Laurie said she immediately noticed the ’embarrassing’ racial divide between the Chinese and Australian students in the classroom.
Laurie hit out at universities for not providing enough services to international students to make sure they understood the course material (stock image)
She said instructors regularly held group discussions in class in which Chinese students with a slightly better grasp of English often helped the other international students.
Laurie claimed when it came time to group assessments, students were forced to act as teachers.
If the non-English speaking students failed to understand the material, they would risk bringing down the group grade.
A fired-up Laurie said she sent an email to the university to complain about the ‘language-gap group assessment rodeo’.
Laurie said she described herself as a ‘multiculturalist from way back’ and had no issues with international students coming to Australia to learn.
But she said if those students were spending large amounts of money for an education, they deserved to be provided with adequate services.
‘I don’t need everyone to speak English when they get here, but if you’re going to take their money and they can’t, can you at least provide them with the support they need?’
A fired-up Laurie said she sent an email to the university to complain about the ‘language-gap group assessment rodeo’
Recent statistics from the Centre for Independent Studies showed 11 per cent of all students in Australian universities were Chinese.
The figure stood well above the eight per cent in New Zealand and three per cent in Canada.
There were 177,745 Chinese students enrolled across Australian universities in 2019, up from 121,881 in 2016.
International students are estimated to make up 25 per cent of all students in Australia, with the figure almost doubled since 2008.
Chinese students alone accounted for $11billion in university revenue in 2018.
Indian students followed with $3.8billion while Nepalese students brought in $1.6billion.