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Aus: NSW travel concessions row reignites

An alliance of predominantly domestic student associations have taken up the fight for travel concessions for international students in New South Wales.
March 18 2019
2 Min Read

An alliance of domestic student representative bodies from throughout New South Wales has written to the state’s minister and shadow minister calling to extend public transport concessions to international students.

“It is important for domestic student leaders to stand alongside their international peers”

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.

“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 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
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