A Chinese newspaper has taken aim at Australian universities for what it claims is treating foreign students as cash cows and not helping them integrate.
A Chinese state-owned newspaper has accused Australian universities of treating foreign students like "cash machines" but also conceded many of them are too busy working to study.
An editorial in the Global Times - a pro-Chinese Communist Party newspaper - says universities have done little to help students integrate into Australian culture and aren't doing enough to crack down on cheats who hire others to write essays or take exams for them.
"I sincerely advise Australian universities to pay more attention to their quality of education and stop treating Chinese students as a cash machine," Beijing-based journalist Lilly Wang wrote on Wednesday.
"I rarely hear professors or lecturers helping them to understand Australian culture or purposely mix them with local students in a class."
But she concedes Chinese students also don't make efforts to integrate.
Wang also says tens of thousands of Chinese students in Australia set up shop as a "daigou" - or someone who buys luxury goods on behalf of people back in China - to help pay their university fees.
"Some students are too busy shopping to study, so they hire a ghostwriter, or exam substitute, to help them complete their degree," she writes.
The head of Australia's foreign affairs department Frances Adamson warned universities in October they needed to better protect themselves from the rising influence of the Chinese Communist Party.
She also cautioned foreign students they had to engage in respectful debate rather than trying to spread propaganda or attempt to gag views they disagreed with.
Silencing anyone in Australian society was an affront to our values, Ms Adamson told a Chinese government-funded academic institution.
Wang took aim at this and similar views, saying if Australia was a country with freedom of speech and academic freedom everyone should be allowed to voice their opinions.
"Chinese students grew up under the educational and cultural system ruled by the Communist Party. They were educated to be patriotic and to think and believe as the Chinese government does," she writes.
"That they politically support the Chinese government does not equate them to being spies."