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Aus: food banks for struggling students

Australian training provider TAFE Queensland has set up food banks at its campuses in a bid to help international students who may be struggling financially due to the global pandemic.

Students enrolled from across the world have found themselves far from their families and are without financial assistance. Photo: Pexels

The coronavirus pandemic has also caused job losses causing further financial strains

The initiative was launched after a staff member bought struggling international students groceries of their own accord. In the first three days, TAFE Queensland put together care packages for more than 200 international students at its Brisbane campus.

“TAFE Queensland trains more than 2,400 international students and nearly all of them are facing financial hardship”

“State-wide, TAFE Queensland trains more than 2,400 international students and nearly all of them are facing financial hardship, but providing them with food is one worry we can take off their minds,” TAFE Queensland International executive director, Janelle Chapman said.

“For the last three weeks, TAFE Queensland staff have been sourcing non-perishable goods, and I am overwhelmed and so grateful for the response we have received.”

Similar operations have been rolled out at the SkillsTech, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg and Cairns campuses.

According to the provider, students enrolled from across the world have found themselves far from their families and are without financial assistance.

The Australian Red Cross has also been named as the charity which will support temporary visa holders – including international students – with emergency relief, funded by the government.

The charity will assist with food and medicine costs when government funds are passed on to the charity. However, the Red Cross urges international students to contact their institutions to see what support they can provide.

The coronavirus pandemic has also caused job losses causing further financial strains.

“Many in our community are struggling to make ends meet right now, and it’s humbling that people are generously sharing what they can to support those in need,” Chapman added.

“We’ve received everything from tinned food to fresh fruit and personal care items, and our hospitality team has also been cooking meals for our international students to take away.”

OzHarvest and StudySunshineCoast helped deliver goodie bags over Easter

Local community groups in Brisbane such as A Touch of Compassion Inc., OzHarvest and Community Friends have also been contributing to the initiative, donating meals and groceries.

IEAA has requested the government to establish a national hardship fund to assist international students.

Meanwhile, some providers have set up funds of their own. The University of South Australia has created a $10m Student Hardship Fund (COVID-19) for all of its onshore students. Melbourne City Council has also pledged financial support for international students, according to the national press.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman called the TAFE Queensland initiative a “true example of the Queensland spirit”.

To donate, get in touch with TAFE Queensland.

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5 Responses to Aus: food banks for struggling students

  1. Unsure what international students want. When the borders were open and it was apparent that they would be closed and lockdown effected, these international students did not heed any advice from authorities and stayed put hoping that they would be given financial or other relief and possibly a visa extension. Otherwise why would they be prepared to spend times like these in foreign country with no family and relatives? It is well known that most international students, actually all international students do not come here to study,, they come here to study on host taxpayers expense, compete in the job pool with host country citizens and replace host country citizens in their jobs and use the money to get the degree and then fully expect to be able to get permanent residency and then citizenship. It appears that international students are upset not because their studies have got disrupted but because this path to residency and citizenship has got disrupted and so they are refusing to leave and complaining why a foreign govt is not helping them from their citizen’s taxes.

    • Um, Don’t know if you got your facts straight there and sounds like you’re generalizing what is a very a complex industry full of multiple motivations and desired outcomes for both parents and students. Further to that, the scenario was fast-moving and the confusion between the state and federal response made it hard to make absolute plans in the early days of the pandemic. One indisputable fact is that in Australia (which this article is referring to) Education-related personal travel is Australia’s 3rd largest export after iron ore ($62.8 billion) and coal ($54.3 billion). I think if you purely looked at this from a cold. economic viewpoint (aside from an actual caring and humanitarian one) you’d see that the industry is a major boon to the economy, so probably in the best interest of all to be a compassionate country right now.

      • International students pay for their education in Australia by earning within the Australian economy and displacing Australians from jobs. So this export figure is purely imaginative and naïve. And then add back the remittance they send overseas from their earning in Australia. And eventually they apply for permanent residency that will displace countless future generation of Australians from their jobs. This fallacy has been expounded upon by several that the education export figure is a myth because they earn from within the Australian economy to pay for that education within Australia.

  2. About 250,000 international students came to Victoria to study last year, contributing $12.6 billion to state revenue, according to government figures.

  3. Associate professor Boucher said migration was a key economic driver for a number of reasons.

    “Those migrants work, they pay tax, most of them are not a drain on the welfare or health system. They are net contributors, not net takers, unlike Australians,” she said.

    Those visa holders will not take Australian’s job because employers requires to proof that they can’t find a suitable citizen to do the job.

    All of Australian people are immigration except aboriginal people. You just arrive this land earlier than them.

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