Travel costs concession row rekindles in NSW, Australia

Travel costs concession row rekindles in New South Wales, Australia as a group of students expressed their dissatisfaction in the development.

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The group of twelve, which includes representative bodies from several universities in the state as well as the national Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations, said the lack of concessions was “damaging the state’s reputation among the international student community”.

“With the cost of living in NSW at its peak, international students are questioning how they can afford the basics,” CAPA international officer Devendra Singh said. Subsidizing travel costs for them by the government would be a way of improving on their standard of living.

“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 alliance’s campaign is the latest in a fight for travel concessions within NSW that has lasted for over a decade. Currently, it is the only Australian state not to provide overseas students with some form of discount.

CAPA national president Natasha Abrahams said extending travel costs discounts to international students would provide some financial relief, and would help students attend class as well as potentially reduce rates of skipping meals.

Speaking with The PIE News, Abrahams said it was important that domestic students work with international students in pushing for travel concessions in the lead up to the state election in late March.

“All student associations that have signed the letter represent both domestic and international students,” she said.

“It is important for domestic student leaders to stand alongside their international peers to signal to MPs that access to student concessions is a matter of fairness.”

Further campaigns will be rolled out throughout the year after the March state election.

Signatories of the letter were:

  • 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

Posted: March 18, 2019, | Category: International News
Source: ThePIE

Ekene Ifechukwu

Ekene Ifechukwu is education writer. He has over 7 years experience in teaching and tutoring. He has taught in primary and secondary schools. He has affection for training children and young people. He aims at improving other people's lives through education.