BIG NEWS! This Tuesday at 12:30pm outside NSW Parliament House, the “International students need travel concessions” campaign group will be handing over their petition to be tabled in Parliament. See event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/243138486506764/
NSW is home to the largest number of international students studying in Australia — 300,000 in 2017, and the number is set to rise. In 2016-2017, international education raised $7.2 billion for the state. It is now NSW’s biggest service export, and the NSW government is keen to grow it further.
NSW benefits from having international students study here — culturally, educationally and, of course, financially. Yet, it is the only state in Australia that does not offer international students concession prices on travel.
International students pay at least twice as much for their degrees as domestic students and we do not believe that they should have to pay higher transport costs. The fact that they do is discrimination.
Come along with the SRC and international student activists as they hand over the petition to NSW Parliament. Follow it live through the twitter hastag #FairTransport.
On another note, last week we co-hosted a forum with the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) on “No to Ramsay, The Myth of Western Civilisation”. Keynote speakers included Raewyn Connell – a prolific author, prominent sociologist and gender theorist, former University Chair at University of Sydney – and Lily Campbell – SRC Education Officer. The event was a complete success and proved that USyd SRC continues to set the example for political organising on campuses in Australia.
Raewyn Connell spoke at length about Western civilisation as an educational concept and traced it back to the early 1900s during attempts to codify the ideology of empire and the idea of a supreme ‘Western Culture’ into a library and curriculum which gave birth to the ‘Great Books’. The curriculum proposed by the Ramsay Centre seeks to revive the ideology of empire and has racism embedded in its agenda. Universities should be a place to challenge dominant ideas, institutions and systems – not a place where billionaires can buy influence over curriculum, staffing and pedagogy in order to pedal racism disguised as appreciation for “Western Culture”.
At the forum we also unanimously passed a motion stating “That the Sydney University EAG and Sydney Branch of the national tertiary education union wholly reject the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. We condemn Sydney University management’s decision to continue with ongoing negotiations with the Centre. We commit to protesting the centre on August 15 and continuing our campaign into the future.”
Come along to our protest against the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation THIS WEDNESDAY 1PM, Eastern Avenue. See event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/398552780634589/
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any concerns or wish to get involved with the SRC. If you are experiencing any academic, personal or legal issues and wish to seek the advice of an SRC caseworker or solicitor, contact us at 9660 5222 or email@example.com.
Nina Dillon Britton
In Week 1, the SRC passed its yearly budget—prepared by yours truly.
This is the year operating budget for the SRC and funds all our administration, publications (like this paper!), caseworkers, legal service and the important activism and campaigns of our elected student office bearers. Since Voluntary Student Unionism was implemented, the SRC and student unions across Australia have had to downsize heavily. Only now have we begun to grow through painfully slow increases in our funding from the University.
<strong>That said, we’ve been able to do some great new things with our budget. Here are the highlights:</strong>
The budget has a small surplus, we’re very proud of this. We’ve also increased our affiliation contribution to the National Union of Students by $1000 to $64 300. This is the SRC has increased its affiliation fee since before VSU.
We will be hiring of a new research officer for the Casework Department. This new officer will help student representatives to better represent students’ interests to the ever more complex behemoth of the University’s management; be able to help office bearers with research for key campaigns; and pursue research projects concerning students’ interests such as affordable housing, welfare benefits and student services. This will also take some of the load for this research from our overworked Casework team, allowing them to better serve students.
We have included substantial training budgets for both the Legal Service and Casework Department. This will allow the Casework team to send at least two caseworkers to a international student focused conference at the end of this to better equip themselves with skills to support international students and face the unique challenges that arise for these students. In addition this will also allow the Legal Service to be able to enrol themselves in a number of online courses that will equip them with the skills necessary to better support our students.
Finally, we were able to commit an additional $650 to the Office Bearers this year. This helps support the work of elected student representatives in fighting bodies like the government and the University to better represent student interests.
There’s a lot more in there! If you’re interested in seeing the full budget (also available at our website) or have any questions, please shoot through and email to <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>.