Sunday, September 19, 2021

$50m fund for Victorian universities’ international programs

The Victorian Government has announced a $50 million International Education Resilience Fund to help the state’s universities maintain their international education programs in the wake of ongoing global border closures.

“A stable university sector will significantly contribute to our recovery efforts following the coronavirus pandemic – that’s exactly what this funding will help deliver,” said Treasurer, Tim Pallas.

“We know our universities have done it tough – this support is critical for the future of the sector and in delivering world-class education right here in Victoria.”

He said the fund would work in tandem with additional payroll tax measures to provide cash flow support to universities at this difficult time.

“International education is our top export earner and an important driver of jobs – this support builds on a series of initiatives to back the sector and the international students that make such a vital contribution to Victoria,” said Minister for Trade, Martin Pakula.

The Minister said universities would be given more time to repay existing payroll tax deferrals worth $130 million that were granted in 2020.

Universities will also be granted further payroll tax deferrals worth approximately $135 million for tax payable for 2021-22. These payments will be repaid in two instalments in 2024, he said.

“While economic activity has rebounded strongly in many sectors of the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, universities continue to be significantly affected while international borders remain closed.”

“The International Education Resilience Fund will support Victorian universities by providing funding for their international student welfare and support services, improved delivery of remote and offshore teaching and learning, and increased student engagement programs and events.

“Victoria’s universities are vital to our status as the Education State and they play a critical role in the Victorian economy and community,” Mr Pakula said.

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