On 26 November 2019, China Matters held its Seventh Young Professionals Debate in Melbourne in partnership with Asia Society Australia. The debate brought together two young professionals and two special guests to debate a challenge facing the Australia-China relationship from the perspective of both business and government. The event was targeted at young professionals aged 35 and under.

The two teams debated the question:

“Are Australian universities treating PRC international students as ‘cash cows’?”

Team 1 on the affirmative: Professor Michael Wesley, Deputy Vice Chancellor International, University of Melbourne and Ms Kate Clayton, Academic Tutor (International Politics), University of Melbourne

Team 2 on the negative: Mr Philipp Ivanov, CEO, Asia Society Australia and Ms Isabella Mory, Regional Manager for Greater China, Trinity College Foundation Studies, University of Melbourne

Moderator: Mr Thomas Day, Enterprise Solutions Manager, Asialink

The evening saw a lively discussion between panellists and the audience, debating issues including campus support services, student engagement and whether Australian universities often underdeliver study opportunities for international students.

Philipp Ivanov and Isabella Mory on the negative team were voted by the audience as the winning team for putting forward the most convincing argument.