“If I could say something to the Immigration Minister about this issue I would just say that he is spoiling a lot of people’s lives. No school, no work, no hope. I know many other asylum seekers who have finished year 12 but can’t study further or work, and sit at home doing nothing all day.”
As the school and university years get started again, we remember the great power of education.
Education opens doors, expands opportunities and supports people to make a positive contribution to Australian society.
Yet a large number of the 30,000 people who arrived here seeking our safety and protection face insurmountable barriers in pursuing this dream.
People seeking asylum and refugees on temporary visas should have the same rights to access education as every other Australian.
Take action, sign our petition and join the call for equal rights to education.
Petition to Education Ministers
Last year, the Refugee Council of Australia released a report detailing the significant financial barriers that people seeking asylum and refugees face in accessing further education. We are writing to urge the Federal, State and Territory Governments to remove these barriers and allow these people to access the same supports as other Australians.
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. Without state, territory or federal support, these people are forced to pay very expensive international student fees to attend TAFE, Universities and other institutions. For people who have spent years without the right to work, receiving only $460 a fortnight, this is not a viable option.
Providing further education can have a profound impact on the lives of individuals and also create further benefits for the wider community, both socially and economically. Denying people the opportunity to gain further education impacts their ability to gain employment and positively contribute to Australia.
We believe that the small upfront costs of providing access to this group of people will be greatly outweighed by the benefits. As such, we ask that the Federal, State and Territory Governments allow all people seeking asylum and refugees on temporary visas equal access to education support.
Refugee Council of Australia
*Name has been changed to protect identity