The SCPA has joined of a group of twelve student organisations who are working together to advocate for concession public transport fares for international students in New South Wales.
The alliance has written to the Minister for Transport as well as the Shadow Minister for Transport asking if they will commit to creating concession fares for international students.
International education is the largest services export industry in New South Wales, having the largest share of international education of any state. However, the high cost of living – including through transport costs – is damaging the state’s reputation among the international student community and therefore putting this economic contribution at risk.
There are currently 130,000 international students enrolled at universities in New South Wales. Many international students live in poverty, with one in seven regularly skipping meals and other necessities due to their financial situation.
Allowing international students to access the same public transport concessions as all other students will assist with cost of living pressures, and increase this cohort’s satisfaction with their experience of international education in Australia.
“International students contribute substantially to the development and growth of the Australian economy. They should be treated equally when it comes to the cost of public transportation, ” says CAPA International Officer, Devendra Singh.
“With the cost of living in NSW at its peak, international students are questioning how they can afford the basics. Full fares on public transport increases the burden on these students, who act as ambassadors for Australian education around world. To communicate a positive message about Australian education around the world, concession fares must be extended to every student in NSW irrespective of their country of birth or origin.”
The letter was signed by the following organisations:
Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations
University of Western Sydney Student Representative Council
Newcastle University Postgraduate Students Association
Newcastle University Students’ Association
University of New South Wales Postgraduate Council
University of New South Wales Student Representative Council
University of Technology Sydney Students Association
Southern Cross Postgraduate Association
Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association
Students’ Representative Council, University of Sydney
Wollongong University Postgraduate Association
University of Wollongong Undergraduate Students’ Association