Q. How can we adjust funding levels to better support international students and the knowledge economy, as well as those suffering from social isolation and homelessness? Thanks, Lord Mayor and the team at VCCI.
A. City of Melbourne has stood up a range programs to support international students during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. These include an International Education Virtual Workshop, a food voucher system, online wellbeing initiatives, pathways for students to employment and advocacy to other governments to increase their support for international students.
In the 2020-2021 financial year, City of Melbourne has introduced an Annual Plan Initiative to develop and implement a program of engagement for international students to support Melbourne in retaining and improving its international standing as a global destination for international education. We will enhance the international student experience of Melbourne in areas including social engagement and integration, accommodation, employment pathways, mentoring and educational offering.
Further funding will be leveraged to support new initiatives such as the reactivation of The Couch – International Student Centre in partnership with the Salvation Army 614.
Q. Given that it is Victoria’s largest export, what else will the city of Melbourne be doing for international students? Great effort so far btw but in the chaos it was a little slow off the ground.
A. In addition to the initiatives noted above, City of Melbourne has initiated partnerships such as ‘Friday Nights Live At Home’ (one hour live entertainment showcasing international students and interviews with industry representatives) and wellness programs, including cooking and dance workshops, and online wellbeing courses and resources. The City has been a leader in the field of creating pathways to employment for international students, including the NexStar program which matches start-up founders and international students on projects while learning entrepreneurial skills, and providing resume and LinkedIn profile training and online English conversation sessions. These have been enhanced in response to the increasing needs of students. The City of Melbourne will also introduce the Runway Virtual Platform linking communities of students with business owners, entrepreneurs and mentors