Australia international students Coronavirus support plan welcomed
Universities Australia (UA) has expressed its support for the recent pledge by various Australian states and territories to financially aid international students across the country affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Many international students, who are currently studying in Australia, are facing significant difficulties and disruption to their lives due to the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a recent statement, Universities Australia welcomed the latest hardship aid announcements from Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia. The states have stated that they will support the government’s hardship funds designed to help struggling international students.
These are the latest regions to introduce initiatives, joining the pledges made by the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and South Australian governments, who are building on their support efforts.
Catriona Jackson, Chief Executive of Universities Australia, expressed her satisfaction at these responsive support measures.
“Through no fault of their own, many international students now find themselves in extremely difficult circumstances. Unlike their Australian classmates, there will be those who won’t have family or local support networks to fall back on.
“Hence, initiatives from the states and territories, and from our universities, are vital at this time of growing need.”
Australia international students Coronavirus support plan described as “heartening to see”
The South Australian Government recently pledged to spend AUD $13.8 million to aid its international students.
This funding will be distributed through schemes which are being run by the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia.
Similarly, the Tasmanian Government has announced a $3 million package to assist temporary visa holders and international students. The Queensland Government has also announced that it will be providing $2.2 million in funding to aid its students.
In Western Australia, the StudyPerth Crisis Relief (SPCR) programme is using funds which have been diverted from cancelled projects to help international students, providing them with food, shelter, support and health and wellbeing.
This now means that every Australian university is currently providing hardship support for its international students. These support packages include everything from emergency financial grants, to accommodation, food vouchers and academic support.
310,000 students have continued to live at their host Australian universities
On behalf of UA, Catriona Jackson stated her commendation at the compassion shown by these institutions, in this challenging time.
“There are around 310,000 higher education students living and studying in Australia. Universities Australia continues to discuss with Federal, State and Territory Governments the need to support those students who are facing hardships as a result of this global pandemic.”
“It is heartening to see more State and Territory Governments supporting international students that add so much culturally and economically wherever they study.”
Pic: Holger Link
Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.
Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org