International students in Victoria will receive a relief payment of up to $1,100 as part of a Victorian Government emergency support package.
The Victorian Government has announced a $45 million International Student Emergency Relief Fund to help international students hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
A one-off payment of up to $1,100 will be made available per student for up to 40,000 international students at universities, TAFEs and language colleges in Victoria who can prove they have lost wages due to the pandemic.
More than 150,000 international students currently living in Victoria are also eligible for the Victorian Government’s rent relief program, including subsidies of up to $2,000.
International students have been hit hard by the pandemic with many impacted by casual job losses in retail and hospitality but falling through the cracks of Federal Government financial support programs, like JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments.
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International education in Victoria is estimated to have lost $5.8 billion since the outbreak of the virus, while the sector is believed to have taken a 50% hit.
Modelling from the Mitchell Institute shows that $2 billion in annual tuition fees will be wiped from the sector as international students are unable to travel to Australia to start their courses for 2020's second semester.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that for every $1 lost in university tuition fees, another $1.15 is lost in the broader economy because of international student spending.
This means the Australian economy could be set to lose more than $40 billion in the sector by 2023 because of reduced numbers of international students.
Last financial year, the international education sector brought in $12.6 billion in revenue for Victoria.
Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula said it's important to support international students.
“International students give so much to Victoria – it’s only fair we support them in their hour of need," Mr Pakula said.
“This virus doesn’t discriminate and neither do we – we are in this together and we will get through it together.”
International students in Victoria can register their interest to apply for the support payments here.
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