Monday, December 13, 2021

Tucker Carlson Interviews Australian Senator Forced Into COVID Camp Despite Multiple Negative Tests

The tyrannical measures adopted by the Australian government to combat the coronavirus have turned the country into a police state at lightning speed.

On Thursday, South Australian Sen. Alex Antic joined Fox News’ Tucker Carlson to explain how, despite multiple negative COVID-19 test results, he was sent to a coronavirus quarantine detention camp.

According to ABC News, a new law went into effect in South Australia on Nov. 23. Unvaccinated travelers are only allowed back into the state with an “exemption” and they must quarantine for two weeks.

Since Antic refuses to divulge his vaccine status, it’s likely authorities believe he is unvaccinated.

Antic told Carlson, “I have been concerned about some of the powers that have been gifted to the unelected bureaucracy in this country for a long period of time. I’ve spoken about them quite forcefully.”

Antic was working in Canberra, New South Wales, when he was informed that upon his return to South Australia, he was to report to a “medi-hotel” — a hotel that has been converted into a detainment facility — in Adelaide.

“That was completely out-of-step with other people’s experiences, completely out-of-step with what had been done in my previous trips to Canberra and back,” Antic said.

“Here’s the kicker,” Antic said: Ten minutes after he was told he would be going to the quarantine facility, he received a call from a journalist who knew all of the details. Hmmm.

This symbiotic relationship between the government and the media is reminiscent of the U.S. government’s connection with the legacy media. Remember how a CNN camera crew happened to arrive at Roger Stone’s home just before the FBI raided it?

“When I arrived at the airport, there was a camera crew and a photographer and a journalist all there to capture it,” Antic told Carlson. “I’ve never been more concerned about the things going on in this country.”

Antic has also learned that he will be receiving a $4,000 bill from the Australian government to cover the costs associated with his stay at the “hotel.”

“This is the lesson for the United States. Parliaments all over the country in Australia have gifted unrivaled powers to their bureaucrats. And they did so on the basis that we were told it was two weeks to flatten the curve. They never did so on the basis that there were going to be two years to keep people locked down and mandate vaccinations,” he said.

“The bureaucrats everywhere across the world — but certainly in Australia it’s true — they never like to get out of the warm bed of power and coercive control.”

Antic is speaking the truth. The pandemic has brought out the worst instincts in public officials around the globe, elected and unelected alike.


Universities need to raise international student fees, says professor

Associate Professor Salvatore Babones, a higher education commentator and sociologist at the University of Sydney, compared per-student revenue for domestic and international students and found overseas students contributed just $500 more.

But at many universities, including the universities of NSW, Wollongong and Melbourne, the domestic per-student revenue was higher than the average cost of an international degree. For UNSW, revenue from a domestic place is almost $5000 more.

However, Dr Babones included government research funding in his calculation of the revenue from domestic students, which others in the sector said should be considered separately and substantially inflated the domestic figure.

International students pay varying amounts for their degrees. For example, a double postgraduate degree in communications and project management at Bond University costs $82,710. A bachelor of economics at Sydney University costs $147,500, while a graduate diploma in management at UTS costs $45,000.

Dr Babones calculated the average 2019 revenue for each domestic student, using state and federal government contributions and fee revenue, at $28,984 and the average international student revenue at $29,529.

He argued research funding should be included because being taught by people who are also researchers is what makes a university different to a teaching institution.

Dr Babones said universities used domestic revenue to cover fixed and essential costs, while international revenue, which is less reliable, is used to cover variables. But he said international students should also be paying for fixed costs.

“I think at a minimum there should be a floor placed on international student fees, they should have a minimum tuition equal to the average amount paid on behalf of domestic students,” he said.

“They should be paying at least the same. They are at some universities. But at many universities they are paying much less. International students are not carrying the full cost of their education.”

However, Australian National University higher education analyst Andrew Norton questioned the inclusion of research funding in the domestic student revenue, saying most universities regarded that as an independent activity.

“There’s no relationship between research funding and domestic coursework numbers,” he said. “If you look at income derived from domestic course work students, it works out at just under $20,000 [per student].”

The chief executive of the International Education Association of Australia, Phil Honeywood, said international students’ tuition fees were an average of about three times those of a domestic student.

“We’ve got international students paying $100,000 a year for some degrees,” he said. “I know how carefully our vice-chancellors weigh the markets before changing the fees. We want to incentivise our students to come back here.

“[International fee revenue] cross-subsidises research and cross-subsidises capital works. A problem we’ve got, too, is without international student postgraduates, a lot of our research can’t be conducted.

“We just don’t have the STEM [science, technology, engineering, maths] because we just don’t have the STEM course graduates among our domestic cohorts. Many of our projects rely on a combination of overseas students.”


Is Albanese running a small-target strategy or simply all at sea?

So here is a simple question, the first of two: what is the backlog of policies that the Morrison government has failed to put in place? Most voters, I suspect, will not have a clear answer. That is because most voters – and especially swinging voters, the ones the parties desperately need – don’t go around obsessively cataloguing the failures of a government. They will be able to point to mistakes in the past – like vaccinations, like Hawaii – but this is not the same as something that needs to be done but hasn’t been done yet.

Here is the second question: if Labor is elected, what will the new Albanese government achieve in its first term?

The beauty of the two questions, of course, is that the answers to each should be the same. The way a smart opposition reminds voters of a government’s failures is to promise to address those failures itself. Six months (or fewer) out from an election, is there a single Labor policy you could state with any clarity? Perhaps you could say that Labor will do more on climate than the government. You might know it believes in an integrity commission and the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Something about childcare, maybe.

In recent weeks Anthony Albanese has begun saying the government, on climate, has “a vibe, but they don’t have a policy”. This is entirely fair; unfortunately, in most areas, it can be said of Labor too.

Hunting for comparisons with other elections is always fraught. The differences can easily trip you up. This may be even more true right now: we are living in extraordinary times.

Here is another area we have barely begun to grapple with. Last week, we got news that Australia’s fertility rate had fallen to its lowest on record – a result partly of COVID-19, but also, it seems, of economic insecurity and anxiety about climate change. And another: the see-sawing between low and high inflation, the sense that the economy no longer runs in ways we understand.

Mostly, though, it feels as if Labor simply hasn’t worked out what it wishes the Coalition government had spent the past eight years doing. And if it hasn’t figured that out, how will most voters?


ATAR score no longer relevant to rising number of students given early university entry

The anxious wait for the postman carrying a yellow envelope or suffering through the slow lag as a webpage loads final Year 12 marks was a rite of passage for generations.

Whether it was called the TER (Tertiary Entrance Rank), UAI (University Admissions Index) or ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank), university admission hung on that all-important number.

The days of waiting on these much-anticipated scores could well be on their way out with a massive rise in the number of early round offers being made to students nationally.

Figures compiled by the ABC show some universities have more than doubled their number of early offers, with many delivered before final exams have even begun.

While the institutions have long had early rounds of offers, the programs were given a kick along by COVID-19 as universities tried to adjust for the disadvantages of remote learning.

Now early offers look set to stay, with a growing number of universities finding that not only do they alleviate final exam stress, they also recruit better students.

At the Australian Catholic University, offers have nearly tripled, up from 3,000 last year to nearly 9,000 this year.

At the University of Canberra, they've doubled between 2019 and 2021, with up to 2,000 offers already made for study next year.

Charles Darwin University has had similar success, jumping from 548 to 963 offers between last year and this year,.

At Griffith University, offers are up more than 6 per cent this year.

South Australia's Flinders University has made 2,026 offers for next year, up from just 181 back in 2019.

In Victoria, La Trobe University has also had strong growth in offers, going from 2,287 pre-pandemic to 3,032.

But it's the Western Sydney University (WSU) that's been the stand-out performer, with early offers rising from 7,000 in 2019 to 15,000 in 2020.

It's made 9,000 offers so far for 2022, but expects numbers to rise as its program remains open until January.

Early offers have benefits for unis and students

The sharp increase in early offers is spread across the range of disciplines, including health sciences and education to law and criminology.

Largely attributed to the pandemic, the rise is, however, seen by others in the industry also as evidence of a sector competing for market share among school-leavers.

There are reports of universities encouraging their new recruits to officially enrol before main-round offers have been rolled out so they can lock in the best student talent.

Australian Catholic University Provost Belinda Tynan said it had moved into early offers in response to students' desires to organise family and work-life elements before the university year began. "Our early offer students can receive their study timetable as early as October the year before," she said.

University of Western Sydney's Angelo Kourtis oversees its early admissions program and said that, for WSU, it was an acknowledgement the ATAR could be a "blunt instrument" for measuring student ability. "We recognise that students are more than just the ATAR," he said.

"We think it actually disadvantages many students, especially students from regions."

Early admission selection criteria can include individual subject and exam marks, Year 11 results, or the portfolio work of creative arts students.

"If a student wants to do an arts degree, then we will look at their performance and things like history and English and languages and other related subjects," Mr Kourtis said.

The program at La Trobe University also recognises a student's contribution to their community.

Flinders University has also continued a practice it began in response to the pandemic in 2020, and makes early offers based on Year 11 results.

"Schools have told us that the early admission scheme allows students to focus on specific subjects for their particular university degree rather than simply achieving a high ATAR score — really helping to take the pressure off," said interim deputy vice-chancellor (students) Deborah West.

It's not just domestic school-leavers reaping the benefits, either.

Charles Darwin University made 1,254 offers to international students for next year, up from 750 pre-pandemic.

Early admission leads to better outcomes

Mr Kourtis said WSU's internal analysis showed early admission programs often recruited better students overall.

The university compared typical applicants with those admitted through early admission, and found early entrants went on to achieve a higher grade point average than their peers in more than 50 per cent of courses.

"We found their performance is as good, and in some instances better, than students who were admitted solely on the basis of the year 12 result," Mr Kourtis said. "What these programs do is actually challenge the primacy of the end-of-year-12 exams or the ATAR."

The University of Canberra has had a similar experience.

"With early offers, we are continuing to see very strong academic outcomes from students who have entered through this approach," its deputy vice-chancellor (academic) Geoff Crisp said.




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