International students have been banned from contesting student elections at one of Victoria's most prestigious universities, in a move to stop a group of Chinese students seizing control of the student union.

The ban, which the country's peak student body called an "attack on international students", comes as politicians and academics are increasingly concerned about Chinese Communist Party influence at Australian universities.

Leaders of Monash University's Caulfield campus student body last week passed a new rule that students wishing to run at next week's election must be eligible to work 22 hours per week.

Foreigners on student visas are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week, meaning more than half the campus' students are barred from running for election.

The rules were passed by Monash Student Association Caulfield's student council to thwart the election hopes of a rival group led by and consisting mainly of Chinese international students.

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