Tag: international students

Vice Chancellors welcome Victoria’s $45 million support package for international students


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 30 April 2020: Different sections of the university sector and the wider community has welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Government to establish a $45 million support package for international students facing hardship due to COVID-19.

Victoria now joins the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australian, Tasmanian and Western Australian governments in assisting international students who, like their Australian peers, have lost casual or part-time jobs as a result of the global pandemic.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said almost all states and territories, together with every Australian university, now offer support for international students.

“Many international students now find themselves in extremely difficult circumstances due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Unlike their Australian classmates, there will be those who won’t have family or local support networks to fall back on,” Ms. Jackson said.

“Assistance from all levels of government adding to that from our universities is vital at this time of growing need.”

“University support initiatives now include providing emergency grants, scholarships, accommodation, food, and low cost or free IT equipment.”

Ms. Jackson welcomed the Victorian support package and the co-contribution from the state’s universities.

“Universities Australia welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement to work with universities to assist the more than 100,000 higher education international students in the state who are facing hardship after losing their part-time jobs,” she said.

“International education is Australia’s fourth-largest export. In Victoria, universities contributed $7.5 billion in export income in 2018-19, supporting thousands of local jobs.”

Mr. Sharif As- Saber, Foundation Director, Master of International Business Program at RMIT University says, “The emergency relief fund for international students will help struggling international students during this unprecedented lockdown period. The Vic government website has created a link where students can register their interests. However, it is not clear how long will it take to receive the money.

It would be great if the government expedite the process. Although this will not be enough to support struggling international students during this unfortunate and uncertain situation, it will, at least, provide the students with some mental boost and sigh of relief.

Especially after the Prime Minister’s reckless ‘time to go home’ comment in early April, international students have received this positive news from the Victorian government. Regardless of the amount of money in the offer, this is heartening! I must thank and congratulate the Victorian Government for coming up with this innovative initiative!”

Australia asks international students to ‘rely on family support, part-time work where available and their own savings to sustain themselves in Australia’

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 4 Apri 2020: Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, Australia wants its 565,000 international students to fend for themselves. The government says in a press statement, “As part of their visa application, international students have had to demonstrate that they can support themselves completely in their first year.” What status international students have after the first year is not known. Plus, overseas students face the grim reality of so many small businesses closed wiping out casual jobs.

In his media conference on 3 April, PM Scott Morrison said, ” “They’re obviously not held here compulsorily. If they’re not in a position to support themselves, then there is an alternative for them to return to their home countries.”

The PM said it was “lovely to have visitors to Australia in good times”. But now they should “make your way home” and “ensure that you can receive the supports that are available…in your home countries.

“At this time, Australia must focus on its citizens. Our focus and our priority is on supporting Australians and Australian residents with the economic supports that are available.”

The rather grim news is reinforced from a media statement from the office of The Hon Alan Tudge MP, Minister For Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs who says in a media statement emailed on the morning of 4 April 2020:

“All students who come to Australia…have to give a warranty that they are able to support themselves for the first 12 months of their study. That is not an unreasonable expectation of the government, that students would be able to fulfill the commitment that they gave.

International students

There are 565,000 international students in Australia, mainly studying in the higher
education or vocational education sector. They are an important contributor to our tertiary
sector and economy, supporting 240,000 Australian jobs.

Students are encouraged to rely on family support, part-time work where available and their
own savings to sustain themselves in Australia. As part of their visa application,
international students have had to demonstrate that they can support themselves
completely in their first year.

Students who have been here longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial
hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation.

The Government will undertake further engagement with the international education sector
who already provides some financial support for international students facing hardship. For
example, we understand there are some education providers that are providing fee
discounts to international students.

The Government will also be flexible in cases where Coronavirus has prevented
international students meeting their visa conditions (such as not being able to attend classes).

International students are able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight.
International students working in aged care and as nurses have had these hours extended to
support these critical sectors.

International students working in the major supermarkets had also had these hours
extended to help get stock on shelves during the high demand. From 1 May, their hours will
return to the maximum 40 hours a fortnight as more Australians are being recruited into these roles.”

There are at present 2.17 million people on temporary visas in Australia. This includes 8,000 skilled medical professionals, 203,000 international visitors, 565,000 international students, 672,000 New Zealanders on subclass 444 visas, 118,000 on Working Holiday Visas which have work rights and another 185,000 other temporary visa holders.

International student numbers soar in Victoria

Photo: Melbourne University

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 1 August: Victoria’s international education sector has set records for enrolments and economic impact, cementing the
sector’s status as a multi-billion-dollar export earner.

New figures show international students from 170 countries accounted for 281,000 enrolments last year, up 11.4
per cent, supporting almost 79,000 Victorian jobs and generating $11.8 billion in export revenue.
Revenue for Victoria has increased by 89 per cent since 2014, making international education the state’s largest
export category, ahead of tourism ($5.4 billion) and wool ($2.1 billion).

The total number of international students was 227,000, with some enrolled in multiple courses.
The top five countries for onshore students were China (88,401), India (50,463), Malaysia (16,643), Vietnam
(12,763) and Sri Lanka (9,541). The most popular fields of study were management and commerce (32 per cent),
arts and humanities (21 per cent), IT (10 per cent) and foundation studies (10 per cent).

Victoria is a premium higher education and research destination, with higher education responsible for half of all
international student enrolments. Melbourne is Australia’s top student city as ranked by the QS Best Student
Cities 2019 report, where it was also ranked third best student city in the world.
That high standing is due to the quality student experience that Victoria offers, enhanced by the Andrews Labor
Government’s nation-leading investment in student wellbeing services.

Today, the Labor Government announced almost $1 million in International Student Welfare Program grants,
supporting 27 projects.

Since 2014, the Government has committed $4 million to 104 projects that protect and promote international
student wellbeing in areas including sport, work rights, accommodation, legal services and mental health.
The Government also operates the Study Melbourne Student Centre, a central hub on Hardware Lane where
students have access to a broad range of free services, face-to-face case management and professional
development programs. The centre has helped more than 6,300 students since September 2018.

Victoria to appoint ‘South Asia Business Commissioner’ in Bangalore


By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 12 June: Victoria has decided to go all out to woo business and trade relations with India and other South Asian countries. The state has decided to appoint a ‘South Asia Business Commissioner’ based in Bangalore. This was disclosed today by Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Hon. Philip Dalidakis at a media conference for ethnic media at the Parliament House.

“The Andrews Government is also preparing an India strategy,” he said.

The Trade Minister also said building their own wealth is good for new migrants. He also praised international students in Victoria for contributing so much and those going back to home becoming Australia’s Ambassadors in India. This he felt was a great contribution.

It was disclosed there are 175,000 international students in Victoria and it earned $ 7.1 billion from the international education sector.

Earlier, the Trade Minister was introduced by Multicultural Minister Hon. Robin Scott who detailed some of his initiatives including the international student travel discounts, a trade mission to China, Hamer scholarship program and helping companies enter the China market.

China & India top international students enrolment in 2015


By SAT News Desk

Melbourne, 29 February: International students continued to boost the Australian economy in 2015 showing a growth of 10 per cent compared to 2014. China and India remain the top two countries sending in the largest number of foreign students.

Almost half a million international students from nearly two hundred countries studied in Australia in 2015, demonstrating Australia’s strong global-competitiveness in education.

“Chinese students continue to flock to Australia with 136,097 students last year – up 13.3 per cent on the previous year. China contributed 27.3 per cent of all international students in Australia, the highest of any nationality, with India second, contributing 10.8 per cent, “ says a Australian government media release.

These figures prove that international education is one of the five super-growth sectors – it’s one of our top services exports and it’s supporting our economy as we transition to a more diversified economy.

International education delivered nearly $20 billion to the Australian economy in 2015, confirming the importance of the sector to Australia’s growing knowledge economy.

Australia offers high quality education services, teaching, learning and research, and we have world-leading tuition protection arrangements, which is why 498,155 international students chose to enroll across Australia in 2015.

The top ten countries – China, India, Vietnam, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Brazil, Thailand, Nepal, Indonesia and Hong Kong – together contributed just over two thirds, 66.2 per cent of total international student numbers.

“This Government’s reforms have cut regulatory costs for institutions by $48.2 million a year, allowing Australian universities, vocational education and training providers, English language providers and schools to focus on their core business of providing high quality education to students, says the media release.

- SAT News Service.