To speak the truth, the world is going through the most challenging situation due to the Covid 19 pandemic, and all of the business industries are facing the shocking effect of it. The educational sector is not an exception to that. However, amid the global pandemic situation, Australian Universities gear up to a new academic year, and some of these universities are found offering rebates for international students. It is expected to help them in retaining their student strength and will be fruitful for their future. In the following section, a discussion regarding the reasons behind such a decision of some Australian universities will be discussed.
Why are some Australian universities offering rebates?
It is a fact that several students from foreign countries move to Australia to accomplish study-related purposes, and the global pandemic has caused a big shock to their study and career development process. According to statistics that have been obtained from Universities Australia (UA), more than 140,000 enrolled international students have become unable to complete their studies while being on Australian campuses as the Federal Government imposed border restrictions last year. However, no one is well aware of the duration of this border restriction. As per the current situation, it can be stated that the border restrictions would stay for the remainder of this year as it is unclear whether the vaccines approved so far would be able to prevent the transmission of Covid 19. On the other hand, it is unclear whether the vaccines would be effective against the new strain of Covid 19. It is a fact that the tertiary sector has faced severe effects of the pandemic situation, and in 2020, this sector saw a cut to staff and course, and the same problem is expected not to be repeated in 2021. It has already been stated that several international students are associated with Australian universities, and now they are doing online classes. However, there are chances that they can switch to other universities of their home countries or the institutions of Europe and North America, and institutions of Australia are adopting new strategies to prevent them from switching. The rebates that they are offering can be regarded as one of the most significant ways to help Australian universities retain international students.
The viewpoint of different universities regarding the rebates
The University of Adelaide is one of the Australian universities that are offering rebates. This University offers a 20% tuition fee rebate to students who have stuck to their home countries due to the pandemic situation and face the requirement to accomplish their study while doing online courses and classes. Some other institutions that are offering rebates include Griffith University and Western Sydney University. The deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Adelaide has acknowledged the importance of providing this kind of rebates to such students who have not been able to come to the country due to the border-related restrictions. In this regard, the viewpoint of the University SRC President is required to be highlighted. The person has mentioned that students living in Australia have access to the financial and academic student support package. However, the matter is that offshore students are missing it out. By considering this matter, it can be stated that they must be provided with some offerings so that continuing the study becomes more comfortable for them. The person has also stated that a 20% covid 19 offshore study fee can be introduced, and it is expected to be able to support commencing offshore postgraduate and undergraduate students. According to the person, the rebate will apply to all students stuck in their home countries and cannot access course materials and supports. The council of International Student Australia has appreciated this kind of move that the University has made of Adelaide. CISA has also requested other universities and institutions to take this kind of step to help international students deal with the challenges and difficulties they are currently facing. CISA has cited the struggles with online study offshore. From the viewpoint of CISA, it has been possible to understand that offshore students studying online might find it illogical or challenging to justify the tuition fees of up to 40,000 Australian dollars per year, and the PIE News has reported it. CISA has also called educational providers to revoke the late payment fees. These institutions have also been requested to offer additional payment plans that can provide relief to international students from the financial burden they are currently facing due to the Covid_19-related situation. By considering the viewpoint of CISA, it can be stated that this help would motivate students to continue education from the institution and result in better educational results. As CISA is the national peak student representative organization for international students involved in the postgraduate and undergraduate courses, it is expected that the Australian universities would value this organization’s instruction. CISA president has stated, “We hope to see more universities and education providers take similar actions to offer relief for international students ….” The statement has been provided by referring to the action that the University of Adelaide has taken. However, this kind of offering is helping several students, and the experience of a student is going to be highlighted here.
Experience of Naufal Muhammad Zavier
Naufal Muhammad Zavier is a dweller of Indonesia, and the person was set to spend his last semester of study in Australia at the UOW (University of Wollongong). According to the student, it is a pathetic situation that they face as they have provided their best effort to study and expect to get a better outcome. However, the University gives him a 30% reduction in fees. It is helpful for him as his parents’ income has been affected due to the pandemic situation. The University was very generous by allowing such students to pay the fees through installments. By considering this kind of experience of such students, it can be stated that this type of moves of Australian universities is truly palpable as it is providing several students with the chance to continue their study in Australian universities while dealing with the study-related challenges of covid 19 and the common income-related issues associated with this pandemic.