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Relief for Libyan students

Women demostrate in Benghazi, Libya. Photo: Al Jazeera English

Women demostrate in Benghazi, Libya. Photo: Al Jazeera English

THE Australian Federal Government has announced it will extend a $1.5 million loan to the Libyan People’s Bureau to help it pay the monthly living allowances of Australia’s 650 Libyan international students.

After the assets of the Libyan regime were frozen in March in response to Gaddafi’s threats against civilians, Libyan international students had been informed that the money used to pay their allowances would run out at the end of August.

Universities Australia has been advocating on an international level for Australian universities to have access to some of the frozen money in order to help the students, but it had predicted it would be some weeks before a settlement was reached with the relevant authorities.

Meanwhile, some of the larger universities in the country had announced they would be funding some emergency relief measures to help the students, many of whom brought their families with them when they came here to study.

The Council of International Students Australia vice-resident Heather Richards said in a statement last Friday that they “hope that future crisis’ will be dealt with in a more prompt manner so that students are not left helpless and worried until the last minute.”

CISA has called on the government to put measures in place so that in future students in similar situations know they will be taken care of.

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Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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