Support package for international students
THE Victorian government announced a $45 million support package for international university students last week.
The International Student Emergency Relief Fund will see international students receive one-off payments of up to $1,100 to help with any financial hardships caused by the coronavirus.
On April 9, Deakin University announced $25 million in hardship support for their international students. Deakin noted at the time international students were not eligible for the government assistance available to domestic students.
Vice Chancellor Professor Iain Martin greeted the state government’s support package and said it would build on what Deakin has already contributed.
“Through this fund the Victorian Government has acknowledged these contributions and strengthened Victoria’s status as ‘The Education State’.
“This announcement builds on the $25 million in additional hardship assistance that Deakin is already providing for our international students.”
Deakin received more than 12,500 applications for help after announcing their hardship support fund. Presently, they have processed about 8,000 of the applications.
Victorian Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson said the state government’s support for international students was welcome but overdue.
“International students in Victoria will receive a relief payment of up to $1,100 as part of a Victorian Government emergency support package announced today.
“Until today, all other states and territories except Victoria and New South Wales had provided financial support to international students.”
International students are a significant part of the state’s economy, accounting for $12.6 billion revenue for Victoria last year and supporting about 79,000 jobs.
Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula said the support package recognised their contribution.
“International students give so much to Victoria – it’s only fair we support them in their hour of need.
“This virus doesn’t discriminate and neither do we – we are in this together and we will get through it together.”