Higher Education

, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 103–116 | Cite as

Welcome and exclusion: an analysis of The Australian newspaper’s coverage of international students

  • Toby Paltridge
  • Susan Mayson
  • Jan Schapper


For countries such as Australia exporting education is recognised as an important contributor to the nation’s economy. The embodiment of this export industry in Australia is the presence of international students in tertiary institutions across the country. Despite their considerable contribution to social, political, cultural and economic life, there have been recent examples of violence, exploitation and discrimination against international students in Australia. To understand how international students are both welcomed and excluded from Australian life, we use critical discourse analysis (CDA) to analyse news reports published in an Australian national newspaper from 2009 to 2011. Following van Dijk (Ideology: a multidisciplinary approach, Sage, Thousand Oaks, 1998) we view newspapers as ideological institutions that mobilise discursive power to polarise public opinion to support their ideological agenda(s). In the case of international students we use CDA to show how media discourses construct international students in ways that commodify their participation in higher education and marginalise them as the excluded ‘other’ in Australian society. Our conceptual and analytical approach has broader implications for national higher education policy and international student experience by exposing the social inequalities that accompany globalised international education.


International students Higher education Australia Critical discourse analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ManagementMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of ManagementLaTrobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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