The social and financial impact of COVID on international students in Australia

Presenters/Authors and Affiliations:
Laurie Berg, University of Technology Sydney
Bassina Farbenblum, UNSW Sydney


In July 2020, the authors conducted a survey of over 5,000 international students to document the impact of COVID and Australian government policies during this period. This presentation will analyse findings from the survey in relation to international students’ experiences with work, housing, financial security, health, safety and social inclusion and discrimination. It will examine the sources of financial and other support that international students sought and received, including from education providers, as well as the barriers that impeded them from seeking assistance. It will also explore the reasons why international students stayed in Australia, including participants’ open responses on their experience overall and how the experience has shaped their attitudes regarding studying in Australia.

About Authors

Associate Professor Laurie Berg

Affiliation/s: Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney
Email: laurie.berg@uts.edu.au

Laurie Berg is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney and a Co-Director of the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative. She is the author of the first book on migrant workers’ rights in Australia: Migrant Rights at Work: Law’s Precariousness at the Intersection of Immigration and Labour published by Routledge in 2016.

Associate Professor Bassina Farbenblum

Affiliation/s: Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney
Email: b.farbenblum@unsw.edu.au

Bassina Farbenblum is an Associate Professor at UNSW Law and a Co-Director of the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative. She is also the founding director of the UNSW Human Rights Clinic and the Australian Human Rights Centre’s Migrant and Refugee Rights Project. She has spent almost two decades as immigrant rights lawyer, researcher and clinical legal educator in New York and Sydney.

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