The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) welcomes today’s announcement by the Andrews Government that international students in need will receive a payment of up to $1,100 as part of a $45 million Victorian Government International Student Emergency Relief Fund, set to help tens of thousands of people across the state.
Up to 40,000 international students enrolled at Victorian universities, TAFEs, private vocational education and training providers and English language colleges who have lost wages and work due to the coronavirus pandemic could benefit from the payment, which covers demonstrated lost income up to $1,100.
VTIC Chief Executive Felicia Mariani said, “We commend the State Government on this crucial announcement that is vital to protecting Victoria’s brand as a key destination for international students.
“The way we care for and support these students could make or break our reputation around the globe as a first-choice state to live and study – and in the projected tough economic climate ahead, we need to ensure that our credentials with this important market are secure.
International education generated $12.6 billion revenue for Victoria last financial year, supporting around 79,000 jobs, with most students coming from China, India, Nepal, Malaysia and Vietnam.
“The impacts of COVID-19 have been devastating for many sectors.
“International education and tourism combine to form a major part of Victoria’s overall international trade performance. Also, international students contribute to the vibrant multicultural fabric of Melbourne, for which we have become world-renowned.
“The COVID-19 crisis has created challenging circumstances for many people around the globe who find themselves stranded with borders closing and flights being cancelled as airlines ground fleet.
“Many international students who are here in Australia have struggled similarly, and this injection of emergency funding to support them through this challenging time is a wonderful gesture to young people who find themselves so far from home.
“VTIC is pleased to see the State Government’s forward thinking, beyond COVID-19, through crucial announcements such as this.
We look forward to further collaboration and more announcements that assist all corners of our industry to get through to the other side of the coronavirus pandemic,” Ms Mariani concluded.