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Principal wants fair go for refugee tertiary students

One of Australia's most respected high school principals is calling on the Federal Government to allow refugees to be recognised as local students when undertaking tertiary study.

Sr Judith Redden RSM, principal of St Aloysius College in Adelaide, says students on Temporary Protection Visas are being classified as international students when attempting to enrol at university, and are faced with an average annual fee of $13,000.

"There is a great injustice being done to these young people," she told the Southern Cross. "They may get the marks in Year 12 to earn a place at university but they will be denied access because they don't have the cash to pay the up-front fees."

Sr Judith is calling on the Federal Government to classify students on TPVs as Australians and give them the chance to pay off their debt through the HECS scheme.

"It's quite mean-spirited of the Australian Government to expect refugees to have the same finances as international students - it's quite obvious that no refugee will be in a position to afford it," she said.

Southern Cross

St Aloysius College | International Students | Sr Judith Redden

7 May 2003