South Australia's international education sector will receive a $13.8 million boost from the state government to bolster the industry and save jobs, in the wake of the coronavirus.
The funding, which is part of the Community and Jobs Support Fund, is designed to provide an economic boost to the international education sector which has suffered as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
Minister Ridgway said it is important that we can keep this sector strong as it underpins many thousands of South Australian jobs, which will be critical on the other side of this pandemic.
“International education plays an important role in South Australia’s economy as the state’s largest export sector and we know students are having a tough time at the moment as they don’t qualify for Commonwealth Government income support in response to the COVID-19 impacts.
“Every four international student enrolments creates one new job and 2018-19 saw our international students contribute $1.92 billion to South Australia’s economy – with more than half of this usually spent in the community on living expenses.
“International students also play a role in contributing to the state’s skills needs and strengthening our global connections into the future. They are very much a part our community and we are keen to ensure they are supported at this difficult and uncertain time.”
“Ensuring international students are supported as much as possible will assist in maintaining South Australia’s global reputation for international education and will provide peace of mind for the families of these students living thousands of kilometres away from them as we face such an uncertain time.”
The state government will provide further funding, on top of the funds made available by the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia. Each university will distribute funds to international students both currently enrolled or studying in a pathway course, and suffering hardship.
The International Student Support Package will include:
- a $10 million fund for university students significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions at the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia to distribute to their pathway and international students.
- a $500 emergency cash grant to other international students significantly impacted by the restrictions, currently enrolled in a course, living in South Australia and who meet the criteria
- a one-off $200 assistance payment per student living with South Australian families provided to homestay families.
StudyAdelaide Chief Executive Karyn Kent said international students have been finding it tough during COVID-19.
“The number one concern expressed by all of our education providers has been for the welfare of their international students, and we expect this announcement to be a welcome relief for students and providers alike,” Ms Kent said.
“Adelaide’s reputation as an international student city will be further enhanced by the care and concern demonstrated by government, education providers and other organisations that support international students.”
Eligible international students will be able to apply for support through the Department of Human Services (DHS). More information including eligibility criteria and application process can be found on the StudyAdelaide website.