The Western Australian state government announced on September 14 how it will spend some of the $41.2m allocated to international education initiatives earlier this year to help the sector recover from the pandemic.
The latest measures to attract international students to the region include subsidising accommodation costs and launching an agent incentive scheme.
Under the new program, agents could earn $500 per student enrolled in a school, English language or vocational course, and $1,000 per student enrolled in one of the state’s five universities – with a total of $10m budgeted for the scheme in 2022/23.
This will be in addition to the payments made directly by institutions to agents.
The government is also continuing incentives for students, including the international student accommodation subsidy which will provide a one-off payment of $1,500 for up to 2,500 individuals to offset accommodation expenses while studying full-time in semester two.
An additional 2,000 students taking eligible English language courses will receive $1,500 to offset their tuition fees.
“These grant programs underpin our state’s philosophy of supporting international students who have chosen Perth as a study destination,” Derryn Belford, CEO of StudyPerth, told The PIE News. “StudyPerth is excited to be part of the implementation by not just advising students on what’s available, but providing a HelpDesk facility to add to our suite of support services for international students.”
Agents must register their interest in the incentive scheme before October 31 and applications for the student bursaries are open now.
“It is vitally important that the McGowan government incentivises international student agents, as well as students, to encourage them to consider and ultimately make the right choice to study in our state,” said David Templeman, WA’s international education minister.
“The incentives send a clear message that our state will continue to welcome many more international students”
“Through the launch of each of these programs, we want to see thousands of students call Western Australia home and make the most of our world-class education institutions.”
Universities also welcomed the investment in the region.
“Our state government clearly recognises the importance of international education both economically and socially, as our state aims to become even more connected and engaged globally,” a spokesperson for the University of Western Australia said.
“The university believes the incentives send a clear message that our state will continue to welcome many more international students into our community, and strengthen the great partnerships with our education agents in pursuit of that aim.
“Combined with our university’s expanding international activity, we believe this government support will help UWA welcome a substantially higher number of international students to our community.”
Last week, the Australian state of Victoria announced its own $53m package of support for the sector, which included measures to improve student experience and boost employability.