ACT Government Support
The ACT (Australian Capital Territory) government has joined Tasmania in offering a financial assistance program for temporary visa holders and international students pushed by the coronavirus pandemic into financial hardship.
The territory has pledged $450,000 for emergency relief programs to help those who lost their income due to business shutdowns and employment losses caused by limits on social distancing.
The Government of ACT will work with tertiary education institutions to improve the application process so that international students impacted by COVID-19 can access emergency relief through their institution without any other assistance.
The program is a new partnership between the ACT government and the ACT Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Humanitarian (RASH) Coordination Committee, the Australian Red Cross and local universities. As part of the new support package, the RASH Planning Committee will receive $140,000 as part of the latest assistance program to provide immediate help to asylum seekers in Canberra.
The Australian Red Cross will receive $160,000 for its current emergency relief system to assist citizens with temporary visas, including temporary work visas and safe business haven visas.
The Red Cross will also receive $150,000 to support international students who face financial hardship because of COVID-19. The funding is to be provided through institutions of tertiary education.
Australian Universities Support
Australian universities have developed financial assistance schemes for international students. This is surprising as the Australian PM had earlier indicated that the Australian government could not assist international students trapped in Australia during this pandemic.
Australian PM Scott Morrison said in a press conference in April that international students unable to support their stay should return home. He had further stated that to get a visa, and the students had submitted proof. The proof must say that they had enough funds to support their study and stay during their first year at an Australian university.
The PM, who declared that registered Australian residents would get a stimulus package of AU$130bn, asked international students to “go home”. This rule, however, did not apply to nurses and doctors with critical skills.
This is because Australia would be able to avail the benefit of their service in this time of crisis. The PM had asserted that the government would develop opportunities for them.
Here’s a list of Australia’s significant universities providing support to international students and links to their specific hardship fund sites:
- Australian Catholic UniversityCharles Darwin University
- Charles Sturt University, Sydney
- Curtin University
- Edith Cowan University
- Flinders University
- Griffith University
- La Trobe University
- Macquarie University
- Murdoch University
- Swinburne University of Technology
- University of Adelaide
- University of Canberra
- University of Newcastle
- University of New South Wales
- University of Queensland
- University of South Australia
- University of Southern Queensland
- University of Sydney
- University of Tasmania
- University of Technology, Sydney
- University of Western Australia
- University of Wollongong
- Victoria University
- Western Sydney University