Syed Ahmed, an international student from Bangladesh studying at Swinburne University of Technology, has welcomed the Victorian Government's initiative of travel concessions for international students.
The scheme, which will offer international students a 50 per cent discount on annual tickets for trains, trams and buses, is a relief for students who have long campaigned for fair transport fares.
Syed is an international student representative for the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology at Swinburne and is undertaking a Master of Science (Network Systems). Melbourne’s vibrant culture and reputation for high quality education influenced his decision to study at Swinburne.
‘‘Melbourne is the one of the most liveable cities in the world with a good education system and a lot of opportunities,’’ he said.
He believes the scheme will make Melbourne an even more attractive study destination.
"The idea that we are getting noticed and being treated equally in terms of public transport fares will encourage overseas students to travel to Melbourne,’’ he said.
The scheme will be trialled over three years from 2015 and will offer students a saving of up to $1105 per year. The saving will help relieve financial pressures on international students.
‘’International students have to pay high tuition fees and rent is pretty high, especially if you live near the (Hawthorn) campus. The travel concessions will definitely ease the pressure of living costs,’’ Syed said.
‘‘The saving will mean that students can look for accommodation closer to the university, instead of finding cheaper housing further away. It’s a very positive move for the government.’’
Melissa Banks, Director of Swinburne International, congratulated the government for the long-awaited initiative.
‘’Swinburne wholeheartedly supports the public transport discounts for international students and will most certainly be opting into this scheme to ensure our students are able to avail themselves of this opportunity.’’ she said.
‘’International students are enthusiastic and active contributors both on and off campus and deserve to be recognised for the positive contributions they make to Melbourne and Victoria.’’