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Prime Minister urged to save international students

Student holding a backpack

By Juliano Oliveira

Queensland Government has publicly called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to introduce measures to support more than 100,000 international students in the state during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a wake of financial support announced by the Federal Government recently, international students are not eligible for unemployment benefits and rental assistance and Medicare as the Australian citizens and residents are.

Ministerial Champion for International Education Kate Jones today called on Prime Minister to extend the same benefits to international students stuck in Australia during this tough time.

“These people are stranded in Queensland. They’ve been kicked out of their homes and many can’t afford to eat,” Ms Jones said.

“They’ve been completely displaced by this pandemic. If the Federal Government doesn’t take action, thousands of these students will end up on our streets.”

Ms Jones said international education generates $5.4 billion a year for Queensland and supports more than 23,000 local jobs.

“If we want this industry to survive following COVID-19, we must take care of these students now,” she said.

“The cost of doing nothing far outweighs the cost of providing these people with the same benefits as domestic students. The financial contribution students make to our economy is huge.

“The international education industry benefits everyone from education providers who rely on tuition fees to families who have international students as tenants in investment properties.

“International students are great advocates for Queensland as a tourism destination – sharing their experiences with friends and family.”

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