Universities Australia understands that safety is of upmost importance for international students and is comitted to ensuring that their experience studying abroad is not diminished because of such concerns. A safe environment is paramount to positive student experiences and the continued success of Australia's strong international education market. The Good Practice Guidelines for Student Safety (2011) highlights the role universities play in assisting to meet the needs of the international student community.
In June 2009 Universities Australia published a position paper Enhancing the student experience and student safety, documenting good practice in this area across the university sector, government agencies and internationally.
Concurrent to this was the development of a ten point action plan as a response to issues within the Australian community. The plan was closely considered at, and helped inform, a meeting of all Commonwealth, State and Territory Education Ministers held in Hobart on 12 June 2009.
Racism and the student experience
Consistent with the ten point action plan, Universities Australia worked in partnership with The Academy of the Social Sciences and the Australian Human Rights Commission to facilitate a workshop on Racism and the Student Experience on 31 March 2010.
The workshop brought together a range of individuals and parties to assess available data from social science research, to assist with the prevention of racially motivated crimes against international students and improve international student safety.
Universities Australia has been a longstanding and strong advocate of equity on student travel concessions. We believe that government travel concessions for full-time students should be extended to international undergraduates and to both domestic and international postgraduate full-time students on a nationally consistent basis.
Further information regarding Universities Australia's position on student transport concessions can be found in our media release. Additionally, Universities Australia have a policy paper pertaining to the issue of transport concessions for international students.