NSW AND Victoria will come under renewed pressure to provide transport concessions to international students following an upgrade to the Study in Australia portal next year.
The federal government said all states and territories would be required to upload information on their services onto the Austrade-managed portal, “to ensure students make informed decisions about where to study”.
“International students will be able to search and compare government services on the Study in Australia portal, including comparative information on transport concessions available to international students, in 2012.”
The updates are required under last year’s International Students Strategy for Australia, the government said.
NSW and Victoria don’t currently provide concessions to the bulk of their international students, unlike the other states and territories.
The federal government said it supported last month’s agreement by state and territory community and disability services ministers to consider reciprocal recognition of student concessions.
It said it had also exerted pressure on NSW and Victoria over the issue in 2008 and again last month.
“The government will continue to make representations to NSW and Victoria on this matter,” it said, in a belated response to a Senate references committee inquiry into international student welfare.
The report by the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee issued 16 recommendations, including two on public transport.
There were also five recommendations on information for international students, three on work rights, three on regulation and one each on agents, visa processing and medical internships.
The government said it supported three quarters of the recommendations and had already begun work to address them, implementing some in full. But it’s had plenty of time to do so, given that the report was released in November 2009.
It cited the Study in Australia portal in its response to six of the recommendations.
But the portal won’t fully meet the expectations of the committee, which said some information should be available in hard copy form and provided prior to students’ arrival in Australia.
Source: Portal pressure on concessions
BY: JOHN ROSS From: The Australian November 19, 2011