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Greens propose Education Commission as international student senate inquiry holds hearings.



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Sarah Hanson-Young

Greens propose Education Commission as international student senate inquiry holds hearings

Media Release | Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young

Monday 31st August 2009, 6:30pm

in

• International Students

• Public transport

• Senate Inquiries

• Tertiary Education

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young will raise the idea of an Education Commission at this week’s

hearings for the Senate Inquiry into the welfare of international students.

The Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee’s inquiry into the welfare of

international students, established by Senator Hanson-Young in May, will hold hearings in Melbourne

tomorrow and Sydney on Wednesday.

“The Greens have been concerned for some time about the struggles of overseas students in this country,

which have also tarnished the reputation of Australia’s international education sector,” said Senator

Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson for Education.

“The accessible, transparent process of a Senate Inquiry will allow students, educators and experts to put

evidence on the public record about the complex issues involved, and start getting our international

education sector back on track as world-class.”

Senator Hanson-Young said the creation of an independent Education Commission could be of assistance

to the welfare of both domestic and international students, as well as restoring the quality and integrity of

Australia’s education sector.

“The Greens propose an independent Education Commission as a one-stop national authority for resolving

individual student complaints, providing a further avenue for academic decisions, monitoring and enforcing

compliance of education institutions, facilitating communication between state and federal governments

and educational organisations, and generally safeguarding the quality of and access to education in

Australia,” she said.

“I will be putting the idea of an Education Commission to the witnesses appearing at this week’s inquiry

hearings, to gauge what these experts in the education sector think.”

Today Senator Hanson-Young also backed calls from student organisations including the Council of

Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) for consistent public transport concessions to be put in place

nationally, to accommodate international students.

“The Greens support calls from student organisations for all students, whether they are Australian or from

overseas, to be granted concession fares on public transport in all states and territories,” she said.

“Students have particular financial constraints on them - including international students who have work

restrictions as part of their visas - and should be supported in accessing public transport.”