The University of Sydney Student Representative Council and Postgraduate Representative Association have launched a petition with the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seeking transport concessions to be made available to all students in NSW, including part-time and international students.
Lia Perkins, SRC President, said that “SUPRA and the SRC launched this petition to demand travel concessions for all students. At a time when the University is celebrating 100 years of International students, the SRC believes it is essential for all students to get involved in fighting for their rights.
“Ending the discriminatory transport policy is one part of this, as are campaigns for affordable student housing and stopping the corporatisation of our degrees”.
Weihong Liang, SUPRA President, said that “This campaign has a long-standing history, rooted in a decision made in the late ’80s. After the introduction of tuition fees for international students, the majority of welfare policies were either abolished or limited to a small fraction of these students, including discounts for transportation cards. In 2006, Jenny [Leong], the president of SUPRA at the time, initiated an administrative arbitration citing discrimination. Yet, this issue remains inadequately addressed.
“Many New South Wales residents remain oblivious to the fact that international students don’t qualify for concession cards.”
In NSW, only full-time domestic students enrolled in accredited studies with higher education providers or Vocational Education and Training courses are eligible for concession fares. To be eligible, students must be either citizens or permanent residents of Australia. International students are only eligible for concession fares in exceptional cases where their tertiary study is fully funded by particular scholarships from the Government.
The petition already has 1,731 signatures (at time of publication), but needs 20,000 signatures to be scheduled for debate. Click here to sign the petition.