The way that RMIT treats International students is like cash cows. International students pay about $14000-$28000 per semester to study at RMIT. On top of that there are not many scholarships for International students.
International students like myself didn’t know a lot about the support offered at RMIT. Nor did I know about the Orientation program at RMIT. This is one of the causes of failure in a few subjects and be put “At risk”.
They need to have good English language skills and passing the IELTS test is not enough. Even though some students have scores of 6.5/7 for their IELTS, this as quoted by “The Age”( http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/beaten-by-the-language-barrier-20111031-1mrye.html, Accessed 2/2/2012 at 1:25pm) is not enough. Their sentences are not as good as the local students and academics find it hard to understand them. Hence the high failure rate and the many complaints. There isn’t a verification system in place for International students entry such as an interview to test their language skills. The English language standards for entry into courses needs to be changed so that international students might be treated more fairly and less like cash cows.
It is also difficult for some students to get jobs because of their limited English. For most jobs, English is a must. Especially for hospitality and retail. On urbanspoon.com for some of the restaurants and cafes most people said that some of the wait staff (particularly Asian restaurants and cafes) does not have good “English skills/ Hard to understand them”. Hence they do not get much money. 7-11 ( a convenience chain) is not a good place for students to work in because of low pay and low security. But many students find themselves working at 7-11 due to poor English skills and thinking that “because I’m working by myself I can get away with this”.
After graduation it is again difficult to get good jobs as they require good English. AND BY THAT I MEAN GOOD ENGLISH!!!!
Good thing is that RMIT waived the application fee. But that is not enough to encourage students to study at RMIT. Whilst its reputation is good, there needs to be more done to make sure that students study successfully such as implementing English language programs. There is a conversational class which is “non obligatory”, so as a result not many students turn up to this because they are scared to ask for help. This should be made compulsory for all students.
It is a great initiation to implement the RMIT MATES program, a program that helps new International students adjust to life in Melbourne. But not many people like myself knew about the program before they started at RMIT. It would have saved a lot of hassles and we would know a lot more about free services such as the Airport Pick up service.
More promotion about the RMIT Orientation would be a good idea. I will cover this event and write it up.