Over one-third of overseas students, including Indians, completing their university degrees in Australia have such poor English that they should never have been admitted, a new study released has said.
The study, carried out by demographer Bob Birrell showed that 34 per cent of students who were offered permanent residence visas last year were unable to achieve a "competent" English standard in their test.
The study found that about 17 per cent students both from India and Singapore failed to reach the required level.
It said that more than 24 per cent Pakistani students fall in this category, while 42 per cent Bangladeshi and 47 per cent Nepalese have little knowledge of English.
Over 50 per cent South Korean and Thai students could not meet required English levels whereas among Chinese students, the figure was as high as 43.2 per cent.
The study confirms concerns expressed by academics that the Federal government's focus on drawing fee-paying students from overseas has led to a collapse in university academic standards.
"The study raise serious questions about Australian university standards," said Monash University academician and author of the report Professor Birrell. The report was published in today's People and Place journal.
Almost 12,000 graduates were tested for the survey and all were from Asia.