Contact: Bronwyn Gilson
Telephone: 0400 852 226
ISANA’s members work directly with international students as advisors, counsellors, advocates, teachers, service providers and education agents. As such our members see firsthand the impact COVID-19 restrictions are having on the international education experience, mental and physical health, and the financial hardship of international students. With students away from the support of their friends and families the move to online studies has added to a loss of connection and loneliness.
Australia has encouraged and welcomed thousands of international students into our educational institutions over many years. Across all educational sectors, international students add value to the teaching and learning experience. Additionally, these students have not only financially contributed to their institutions, but also to the economy as taxpayers and consumers. For many, their contributions extend beyond the financial, as they are also valuable members of Australia’s volunteer community. Additionally, many go on to play pivotal roles in Research and Academia, contributing to Australia’s diverse tapestry of scholars.
ISANA’s members are frontline workers who are being deeply affected by the impact this situation is having on student populations. Our members have been doing an amazing job supporting students and complying with the Education for Overseas Students Act 2000 and National Code 2018 legislation.
We believe it is time for the Australian Government to establish an International Hardship Fund for international students currently residing in Australia. Such a scheme will not only support our students, it will also help reduce the anxiety of our members who are greatly affected by the plight of their students and their current inability to provide many viable solutions.
“As staff who have daily contact with international students our members are determined to show they are caring for these students in every way possible as this is how we would want our own children to be supported in another country” said Bronwyn Gilson, ISANA National President.
Gilson added “Many Stakeholders have put in place individual support programs. By establishing an International Hardship Fund the Government could bring these initiatives together and share good practice“.
By establishing an International Hardship Fund for international students ISANA believes Australia will send a clear message that we not only understand the additional pressures these students face but that we are willing to step up and offer essential support.
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