The Australian state of Victoria is set to become an even more attractive destination for overseas students following the announcement of a new scheme that offers a 50 per cent discount on annual public transport tickets for international students.
Speaking at the 2014 Indian Education Summit in New Delhi,Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher said international education is Victoria’s largest single export, worth over AUS$4.3 billion annually.
“We are proud of the high quality educational experience we can offer international students and we are committed to ensuring they also have a safe and rewarding time in Melbourne and Victoria and every opportunity to enjoy our acclaimed quality of life,” Ms Asher said.
Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said the initiative would provide a 50 per cent discount on annual public transport tickets covering trains, trams and buses for all eligible international students.
“Victoria’s scheme will make available discounted tickets in all metropolitan travel zones, including Zone 1 only which covers inner Melbourne, as well as within regional centres,” Mr Mulder said.
“The scheme will be trialled from 2015 for three years in partnership with education providers to reduce transport costs for eligible students in eligible Melbourne metropolitan and country educational institutions.
This will make international students feel even more welcome when they come to study in Victoria and enhance our reputation as a world leading international student city.
“An overseas student will now save up to AUS$1,105 per year travelling across the greater city of Melbourne,” Mr Mulder said.
Ms Asher said the new scheme joined a range of other initiatives to improve the international student experience in Victoria. These include support for the International Student Welcome Desk at Melbourne Airport that ensures new students have the information they need to adapt quickly to life in Victoria and an International Student Care Service, which provides vital support, advice and help to international students 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
International students can also receive a free Culture Card which provides special offers to Victoria’s cultural experiences, from sport to the arts and community events and the Study Melbourne website, a central source of information available in several languages for international students settling into life and study in Victoria.