IT’S TIME FOR AUSTRALIA TO SUPPORT THE MORE THAN 500,000 INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED SO MUCH TO THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY
The COVID 19 crisis has significantly impacted everyone in Australia, including international students who find themselves stranded in Australia, far from home, family and their own government’s support.
This unprecedented situation has resulted in an extremely stressful situation that is impacting on international student’s mental health and is even further exasperated by the uncertainty of their visa status, the loss of part work that supports their daily lives and the isolation from family. To further add to their stress level are their financial difficulties, as parents and family are losing their jobs around the world and are unable to provide support in these unprecedented times.
For the past 30 years, international education has been one of the major contributors to the Australian economy, with many billions of dollars every year injected across all sectors of society. From education and training (both private and public providers), accommodation, retail, transport and tourism to supporting small businesses via their willingness to accept casual jobs in often unpopular roles, international students are now an intrinsic and vital part of the Australian economy.
This is a time for the Australian government to show leadership and maintain our reputation in the global education sector. This especially important as other counties like Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK not only recognise the contribution international students bring to their countries, but are accepting of their moral and social obligation to provide a safety net to stranded students.
Over the past 27 years, Australia has led the whole world by being the first country to initiate and implement the ESOS Act, Tuition Protection Scheme, and other student protection legislation.
The majority of international students stay in Australia for 3 years or longer and it becomes their adopted home which makes it even more important to consider International Students as part of our multicultural social fabric and provide them with the same level of support as those of us lucky enough to have been born here, gained residency or citizenship.
It’s just the right thing to do!
WHO WE ARE
Our association International Students Education Agents Association (ISEAA) has been created with the main objective to advocate the role and accountability of education agents in international education; the duties of an education agent are to counsel, advise and recruit international students on behalf of Australian Education providers
A staggering 75% of international students use the services and expertise of officially appointed Educational agents each year
OUR CALLS TO ACTION
Free extension for all students affected to complete their studies before the expiry of their student visa
Regarding financial help:
We are aware of the government policy advising students with financial difficulties to go back home but in some cases, it is more valuable to consider help for some of them
For students in financial stress, give eligible student workers access to Job Keeper so that the students can survive the next few months
We are creating a fundraising platform on Facebook Support an International Student : the idea is to raise the community awareness of the value to support international students and help them consider Australia as their 2nd home;
Support education provider and state initiatives to bring social welfare relief to students through foodbanks, accommodation and mental health support.
Ensure that all international students are aware of their options with COVID-19 and have access to emergency health services
We would appreciate that you communicate all these calls to actions around you and to the relevant authorities
For further details, please contact Robert Parsonson firstname.lastname@example.org