As of the 3rd March 2014, at the discretion of the transport minister, Scott Emerson, tertiary students will be required to present proof that they are enrolled in an approved course with a minimum of 12 hours on-campus coursework per week for a minimum of 12 weeks, and will need to renew their concession cards every 12 months. These changes have been implemented to tackle "public transport users falsely claiming to be full time university students in order to receive cheaper fares."
The QUT Guild writes, "Everyone knows that students don't have a lot of money. Because we are studying full time we only have time for part time jobs which have to pay all the bills, rent, and food, with a little bit left over for our social lives. The new policy would make it difficult for many honest full time university students to get the 50% concession discount that they would otherwise be entitled to."
"What the Government does not understand is that some courses that a university would deem 'full time' actually have less than 12 on-campus hours."
For example, I am a Social Science student at CHC, were I need to take four subjects semester in order to be considered full time. This means each subject requires three hours a week to meet the required 12 on campus hours required by the government. However, I am in the same boat as many other students who have some subjects which only have two required contact hours, which puts me beneath the threshold. The new changes would cost me an additional $23.56 per week, which in Mr Emerson's eyes may not be much, but to a university student adds up.
Other students have to take some subjects externally or part time in order keep work long enough at their jobs to make ends meet. These students in particular would feel the strain of the full fare.
I, and other full-time students, call upon Scott Emerson to scrap the Tertiary Ttransport Concession Card and consider alternative solutions to the problem.
The QUT guild further writes that "an alternative solution to the problem could be to put the onus on universities to stop issuing student cards with expiry dates well after the student would graduate, so that graduates and drop-outs don't get the benefit of concession fares."
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