International students forced to study online ask for QUT discount
Unlike other Brisbane-based universities, QUT has not given any discounts or economic discounts to its large cohort of international students.
The University of Queensland offered its international students in exile a 12.5% ââonline tuition discount and Griffith University a 15% scholarship. QUT had not yet launched a similar initiative.
QUT Vice-Chancellor Margaret Sheil said the university is committed to supporting its international students, offering direct assistance such as a non-financial study assistance program for students facing challenges. 24/7 academic feedback and learning support.
âInternational students make a real and meaningful contribution to the fabric of life at QUT,â said Professor Sheil.
âThanks to the active support of our student services, many experiences are still available to international students, albeit in an adaptive format to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols.â
Another international student forced to study online, who wrote from India on condition of anonymity, disagreed, saying most of the learning material available to students was on campus .
“Since many resources and the university infrastructure itself are not accessible online, institutions must take these shortcomings into account and offer the required financial concessions,” said the student.
“Compared to [other] universities, QUT does a very poor job of dealing with international fraternity.
In an August 26 email detailing 13 different sessions or appointments within QUT’s business faculty, seven did not offer an online alternative to students studying abroad.
âIt looks like a vicious cycle,â Ms. Veera said from Singapore.
âThe learning experience is not the same online, and we continue to pay high and exorbitant fees for reduced amenities and opportunities. “
Council of International Students Australia president Belle Lim said that some online-only courses were offered by universities at a much lower price even before the pandemic, fee reductions are expected to be needed.
“This is the important time, and now is the right time, to show compassion to these students stranded abroad and to show that Australian universities care about them,” she said.
“These students who are stuck abroad pay the highest price for this face-to-face interaction, and for now, through no fault of their own, this mode of study has been taken away from them.”
While discussions about concession fees with education providers were ongoing, Ms Lim said the council was working closely with the government to establish programs that would bring international students back to Australia.
Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge has supported a pilot plan by the government of New South Wales to send international students back to campuses, similar to the program approved by the Federal Government of South Australia.
The Indian student said supporting a pilot plan would be the least QUT could do if it was unwilling to offer financial support.
âAfter all, we don’t get the ‘real world’ experience we were promised,â the student said.