Here is what keeps Vice Chancellors in Australia up at night: exchange movements. Not student performance, faculty issues and the like but the vagaries of international currency markets. Why? Because they are a heavily export oriented industry. Every time the dollar appreciates, they wince. Every time it falls, they rejoice. They know that whether students turn up from overseas or not depends critically on such movements.
But here is the thing: it is insane. There is no export industry in this country that does not hedge currency movements except for education. Now I am not suggesting that our Universities buy futures on the Australian dollar although that is an option. Instead, they need to provide a hedge for their customers — international students. What they need to do is offer tuition fees in the domestic currency of those students. Do this and you will no longer have a reason to wince or rejoice and you can sleep at night and we won’t have to read these stories anymore.
And just in case you think this is a new idea, I have suggested it for every currency fluctuation for the last 15 years.