Discounted travel for students in Vic, Australia

October 28, 2013

The Australian state of Victoria is set to trial a new public transport ticket scheme from 2015 for international students.

Caption: The website provides further details of the International Education Strategy

The Victorian government, in partnership with education providers, will provide a discount on full-fare annual myki passes which students can use on trains, trams and buses in all travel zones in Melbourne and other regions in the state.

The scheme will be trialled for three years and is only open to students at education institutions that have “opted in”, as the universities and colleges will have to meet some of the costs, buy the travel passes in bulk and then sell them on to students.

Many people have been critical of the decision to only offer the discount on annual passes. Rita Chiu, a spokesperson from International Students Australia, said, “I don’t think students will be willing to commit that huge amount of money for a full-year ticket.”

She added that it was unusual altogether for international students to buy yearly tickets, possibly due to the fact that many study abroad students take short English language or vocational courses.

A similar travel scheme was rolled out in New South Wales (NSW) last year, although this differed from Victoria’s, NSW’s is not available in all zones and three-month passes can be purchased as well as annual ones.

The Victoria Tourism Industry Council said that although the planned scheme is great news, “other options” should be considered to an upfront annual payment as “students may find this costly”.

The new travel plan is part of the International Education Strategy for Victoria 2013-2018, which will introduce a range of programmes to support international students. This includes: continued funding for doctoral scholarships; expansion of support and services provided to international students; expansion of work experience opportunities for overseas students; and establishing the Study Melbourne Experience programme, including redevelopment of the Culture Card which gives international students special offers on tourist attractions and events in Melbourne.

The final details of the scheme will be revealed in 2014.

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