International Students deserve government support during COVID-19 crisis

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We have more than 570,000 international students in Australia contributing about $35 billion to the Australian economy. Not all of them are from rich families and many must work part-time to cover their living expenses.

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, most of those international students have lost their jobs with no income to buy food and pay their rent. Many have already paid up their tuition fees which cannot be refunded if they decide to go home.

Unfortunately, the international students are not eligible for the government’s generous $130 billion wage subsidy. The international students will get nothing in spite of paying the tax and the high price-discriminated tuition fees for years.

Australia cannot afford to look after them like we do to our own citizens, but we can at least offer them may be a nominal amount of $500 per fortnight? It will cost Australia $3.3 billion which is not even 10% of $37 billion. If it is not possible, then, let them access their superannuation funds at least?

If Australia looks after them in these difficult times, they will look after Australia when we get to the brighter side. If we abandon them now, we might as well say good-bye to our $35 billion export industry and be known as a selfish country. The choice is ours.