Addressing exploitation of international students at work and in accommodation: What information and services can make a difference?

Dr Laurie Berg1

1University Of Technology, Sydney, Australia

The Information for Impact project, funded by StudyNSW, reflects a groundbreaking collaboration among key stakeholders across the international education sector to collectively address exploitation of international students at work and in relation to accommodation. Through stakeholder interviews, focus groups and a large survey of over 6,000 international students across the country, the study has established a much-needed evidence base on the types of information and services that education providers and agents can provide students that respond to their needs and experiences, and influence their attitudes and decision-making. This paper discusses key findings from the study and implications for education providers, education agents, student organisations and government regulators. It identifies opportunities for leadership and collaboration across the sector to pragmatically address two of the most significant factors undermining the international student experience in Australia.


Dr Laurie Berg is a Senior Lecturer in the Law Faculty at the University of Technology, Sydney in Australia and founding director of the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative. She has conducted major studies on the rights violations of low-waged migrant workers in Australia, and with Bassina Farbenblum led a national study into wage theft of international students and backpackers and barriers to their access to justice. She is the author of the first monograph on temporary labour migration in Australia: Migrant Rights at Work: Law’s Precariousness at the Intersection of Immigration and Labour published by Routledge in 2016. Laurie has been awarded the Lisa Gilad prize by the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration, and the University of Technology Sydney’s Early Career Research Excellence Award. She is a graduate in law of the University of New South Wales, New York University and University of Sydney

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