The New South Wales government has announced that it will fund temporary crisis accommodation for international students who are facing hardship due to Covid-19. The $20m relief package will include a temporary housing scheme and student support services.
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said helping international education meant helping the whole state of NSW.
“International students are an integral part of our communities and our economy,” Mr Lee said.
“Thousands of families around the state depend on the sector – whether through direct employment, homestays or other services.
“The package includes a temporary housing scheme, targeted at students in genuine need and delivered through approved student accommodation or homestay providers.
“It also provides increased support via the International Legal Service NSW, making available 50,000 free subscriptions to the multilingual My Legal Mate student app”.
A new 24/7 international student support service, through the NSW Government COVID-19 hotline (13 77 88), will offer free advice and information about other measures, including the moratorium on rental evictions and medical, mental health, legal and emergency support.
Mr Lee said international students make a huge contribution to NSW and deserve a helping hand.
“Many have lost their part-time jobs, are unable to return to their home countries and do not qualify for Commonwealth Government support programs,” he said.
“The additional support being announced today complements efforts of our education institutions, highlighted by a combined $180 million commitment from NSW universities for their international and domestic students.”
Council of International Students Australia (CISA) president Ahmed Ademoglu welcomed the announcement.
“We are pleased to see the NSW Government focus on crisis accommodation for vulnerable international students, which is something that we as an association have been calling for,” Mr Ademoglu said.