International Students’ Officer’s Report – Week 5, Sem 1, 2016

Hannah Elten, Alexander Shu, Jasmine Yu and Anqi Zhao

Last week’s announcement of the change of the graduation date for the International Management Master Programme has caused a lot of backlash amongst the international student community, something that has even been picked up by the media. The incidence reflects the University’s often inconsiderate attitude towards overseas students and their specific circumstances (such as the fact that family attendance at graduation ceremonies is rather difficult to arrange and requires significant financial commitment). And although we as OBs are currently trying to ensure that this does not happen again in the future, securing awareness the awareness on the side of University administration is something hard to achieve as long as overseas student representation stay as low-key as it currently is.

On a more positive note, there are two major events concerning international students happening this week: The Forum on the Travel Concession Campaign, mainly organized by SUPRA, on Wednesday the 13th, and the first meeting of the International Council to the USU on Thursday the 14th. Concerning the International Council Meeting, all Clubs and Societies Executives should have received an email asking to send an international student Executive member to attend. This is an amazing opportunity to engage with the USU decision-making process, as well as to voice important concerns regarding international students on Campus that the USU might be able to address. We strongly encourage every Club Executive to participate in this.

Another great achievement has been the publication of the first translation of an Honi Soit article into Mandarin just before the break – we hope that this makes the student newspaper slightly more accessible to a large portion of international students on campus, and that there will be future translations of articles centred on international students’ issues to come.

The next issue the SRC Overseas Department is going to address is the one of Student Housing, both on and off- Campus. This will include a survey conducted together with the SRC Housing Officers on the quality of living within the Terraces, and an effort to implement tenancy-rights workshops at the start of each semester for incoming overseas students.

Lastly, we would again like to encourage all international students on Campus to attend our Collective Meetings, held fortnightly on Wednesdays at 5pm. Since the start of the semester, we have continuously grown, and have had many important discussions on how to improve overseas students’ welfare on Campus. If you are interested, just contact us under international.officers@src.usyd.edu.au.

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