Support Network for International Students (SNIS)
The Support Network for International Students (SNIS) is a coalition of organisations and individuals—including current international students and allies—who work collectively to advance the rights and welfare of all international students in Victoria through various methods and initiatives.
New Campaign Campaigns
Stop exploiting studentsSince 2018, international students from the Philippines and other countries have faced horrific treatment from Lawson College in Dandenong. Students are promised that their course will lead to permanent residency. But they arrive in Australia only to be met with appalling quality of teaching, abuse, mistreatment and bullying. Students have reported inadequate facilities, taking classes where up to 50 students are crammed in a room for 20, unstable internet connection forcing hundreds of students to use up their own mobile data and poor quality teaching with multiple assessors within a single subject providing extremely inconsistent and delayed assessment feedback – sometimes as late as 3 months. When tuition fees cost $10,000 a year, it is understandable that students want to transfer to better quality education providers. However, Lawson does not let this happen. Instead, institutional harassment and gaslighting ensues. Lawson has threatened students with visa cancellation and deportation, falsified attendance issues and failed students who made requests for release and transfer. They’ve rejected compelling reasons for release such as mental health issues and continued to charge tuition fees and issue debt collection notices even if students have appealed for release on several occasions. Those who are eventually able to transfer to another provider are not issued with their completion certificates even if they have finished a course and paid in full. Students are repeatedly rejected on their applications for release until they give up, due to exhaustion from the entire appeals process, which can take as long as 6 months. Furthermore, there is also workplace exploitation and wage theft, with international students not being paid fair rates when employed by Lawson. These existing injustices have since been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with international students facing systemic discrimination and neglect with many unable to afford food and experiencing homelessness. Students have submitted a petition to Lawson college demanding: – A 30% discount in all scheduled tuition fee payments for June, September and December 2020 – Waiving the Late Fee Penalty ($200 AUD a Fortnight) for the year 2020. But Lawson College has ignored their request. This cannot go on anymore. We must stand in solidarity with students calling for fair treatment, so that Lawson College can not ignore them any longer. International students are not cash-cows who can be abandoned during the pandemic. We must take a stand against the racist complex of education trafficking, which serves to funnel international students into debt bondage, enabling further exploitation in Australia. Sign this petition in solidarity with the students at Lawson, to ensure their demands are being heard and fought for.153 of 200 SignaturesCreated by Support Network for International Students (SNIS)