The problem with expensive things

booksIf I tell you that something is expensive, what do you think? For example a few years ago I bought a second-hand copy of George Orwell’s essay collection England Your England for $35. Is that expensive? On Amazon a second-hand hardcopy edition of the same collection is $25. Does that change your impression? Continue reading The problem with expensive things

Australia’s Education Sausage Factory


Since the recent protests by Indian students in Melbourne and Sydney, the media spotlight has been on Australia’s international education industry. It’s an export industry estimated to be worth around $14 billion a year, and the industry that I’ve earned my living from for the last four years. I started working as an English teacher in a private language school, and more recently I’ve been working as an examiner for the English exam that people take if they want to migrate to Australia or study in one of our universities. Continue reading Australia’s Education Sausage Factory

Australia’s Lowering Tertiary Standards


Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing quite a lot of IELTS examining. For those who don’t know, this is how I earn most of my dough these days. IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System, and it’s the language test that people do if they want to immigrate to or study in Australia. Continue reading Australia’s Lowering Tertiary Standards