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Wednesday, 8 May 1985
Page: 1487

To the Honourable the President and the members of the Senate in the Parliament Assembled. The humble petitioners of certain undersigned Australian and overseas students respectfully showeth that:

1. The Overseas student program brings in a multitude of cultural, political and educational benefits as well as a net financial gain of A$5 million p.a., in foreign exchange. (Ref: Goldring Report)

2. Overseas students are under financial constraints. Most depend on their families for this financial support. The Goldring Report found 62 per cent of Overseas students come from families with annual combined parental income of less than A$15,000.

3. The imposition of high Overseas student charges will deprive many overseas students from getting a tertiary education and qualification in Australia despite their academic abilities. High charges will determine education in Australia for Overseas students on economic grounds.

4. The imposition of sudden and drastic increases in visa charges will also particularly disadvantage those current students, many of whom will be forced to discontinue their studies.

5. Overseas students do not displace local students. They represent a mere 3.4 per cent of tertiary students. (Goldring Report)

6. The fluctuations and uncertainty in Overseas students policy has led to uncertainty, stress and fear in Overseas students.

Your petitioners in duty bound will ever pray that:

1. The Government re-affirm a commitment to its policy that supports the social and economic development of people and institutions in developing countries through access to Australia's education and training resources.

2. The Government formulate a consistent and considerate policy concerning Overseas students.

3. The Government reconsider, as a matter of urgency, the legislation of such a high increase in visa charges.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

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