Asylum seekers and refugees could find an easier path to becoming university educated, as 10 Australian universities have joined with the Refugee Council of Australia to provide a scholarship program.
The Education for All campaign has been pushing for greater support from Australian education institutions. Refugees and asylum seekers in who live in this country but were not granted humanitarian visas are not able to access financial assistance for study, according to the Refugee Council, and the campaign calls for the government to address that discrepancy.
The campaign calls to mind Deng Adut, a Sudanese refugee who put himself through university and now works as a lawyer.
"Unlike holders of permanent humanitarian visas, people seeking asylum and refugees on temporary visas are not eligible for programs and concessions designed to assist students with financing tertiary study," the council said in a letter to state and federal education ministers.
"Without state, territory or federal support, these people are forced to pay very expensive international student fees to attend TAFE, Universities and other institutions."
As part of the campaign, the council has since praised the work of ten Australian universities who have offered scholarships and assistance to asylum seekers and those on TPVs.
- Curtin University (humanitarian scholarships, tuition fees covered);
- Monash University (the Monash Asylum Seekers Scholarship, two scholarships of $3000 per year and tuition fees);
- University of Adelaide (the Adelaide Refugee & Humanitarian Scholarship, $2500 and tuition fees for four years);
- University of Western Australia (the UWA Humanitarian Swans Scholarship, $3000 per year for tuition and stipend);
- University of Notre Dame (The Vice Chancellor's Humanitarian Scholarship, tuition fees for one year);
- Victoria University (John Byrne Scholarship for Refugees, $1000)
- University of Canberra (UC Foundation Refugee Scholarship, $2500)
The Refugee Council says Deakin University, Federation University, and the University of Technology Sydney will also offer assistance to refugees, to be confirmed soon.
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In addition, Settlement Services International has launched scholarships for refugees in partnership with Allianz. Almost 50 education grants for primary and secondary school, university, vocational training and other qualifications are available in 2017, worth up to $5000 each.
"Refugees who come to Australia face many challenges during settlement, such as financial hardship, dealing with experiences of torture and trauma, and family separation; yet Australia is a nation built on immigration," SSI said.
"We have a long history of providing safe asylum to refugees, many of whom have gone on to make great civil, social and economic contributions to Australian society."
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