This paper examines whether universities are delivering pedagogical value to international accounting students commensurate with the costs of studying abroad. The paper uses survey and interview methods to explore the extent to which Chinese Learners (CLs) in an Australian postgraduate accounting subject have distinct learning needs. The paper then reviews universities’ responses to these needs, especially in light of funding and resource pressures. The paper reinforces findings that CLs have different learning approaches to local students, but not inferior or ‘shallow’ approaches. However, since CLs face distinctive financial and social pressures to achieve high results, their learning practices may be more sensitive to changes in teaching and assessment, such that cost constraints on educational resources might disproportionately affect their learning. This suggests that a paradoxical result of the funding pressures on many universities may be to encourage large international student cohorts while constraining available resources to meet their learning needs.