ACT funding welcome relief for international students

28 April 2020

The Australian National University (ANU) welcomes the ACT Government's financial support package for international students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $450,000 in funds will help international students in the ACT meet urgent and immediate living costs.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said international students were a vital part of the ACT community and it was essential we assisted them.

"International students give much to Australian society, culture, our communities and our economy when they choose to study here," Professor Schmidt said.

"These students are some of the best and brightest in the world and could study anywhere. And when they return home, they are strong advocates and wonderful ambassadors for Canberra, the ACT and Australia.

"There is no doubt that some of our international students are doing it tough right now. COVID-19 means they have lost jobs and income. They are also far from home and their support networks.

"No Australian wants to see people in our community doing it tough, and we have an obligation and responsibility to look after all guests to our country while they are with us.

"This generous funding from the ACT Government will mean our international students can pay their rent, buy food and cover their bills, allowing them to concentrate on what they are here to do - getting a world-class education.

"I want to thank Minister Steel and the ACT Government for helping international students with these important measures."

Professor Schmidt said the ACT Government's vital funding would build on existing measures already enacted by ANU.

"At ANU we have provided $1 million in relief funding for domestic and international students who are facing financial hardship as a consequence of COVID-19.

"We've also provided a hardship scholarship for our international students taking our courses overseas, and up to $5,000 each to offset the costs caused by COVID-19 and related travel restrictions. This is in addition to ongoing pastoral, social and academic support.

"ANU and other universities all over the country are working hard to support their students in these unprecedented times. It's the right thing to do. So, we are very grateful to the ACT Government for aiding us in this important work.

"We will continue to work with all governments to ensure our students are able to pursue their high-quality degrees and enjoy the exceptional educational experience that attracted them to Australia in the first place."