The Youth Plus Foundation’s Living Support Fund exists to promote respect, inclusion and equality for young people who have sought asylum in Australia and are pursuing tertiary education. For many years, they have been classed as international students, and required to pay up-front fees of, on average, $27,000 per year to attend university.
In recent years, a growing number of Australian universities and TAFEs, with support from some State Governments, have provided fee-covering scholarships for a small number of people seeking asylum. * However, current government policy denies them any access to Centrelink payments, making it extremely difficult for them to pursue their education. The resulting systematised exclusion of one group of people from education, specifically because of their identify, risks creating and discriminating against an underclass of refugees and entrenching divisions within our communities.
EREA and the Youth Plus Institute strive to serve and embody compassion, inclusion, justice, solidarity and peace. Our vision is for every person to have hope and to be free to help build a better world. For this to happen, all of us, including people who have asked for recognition as refugees, need to be able to engage in education. The Youth Plus Living Support Fund strives to realise this vision.
For most young people who have sought protection in Australia, the current federal government policies have cemented overwhelming barriers to education and integration. The Living Support Fund, along with the fee-contribution of Universities across the country, is helping to change the face of their future lives in Australia.
NB If you are interested in running an event to promote the LSF in your community or workplace, we would be very happy to support you however we can. Depending on your location, this may include a presentation at an event. Feel free to get in touch.* The list of current refugee/asylum-seeker scholarships can be found at https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/ourwork/scholarships-people-seeking-asylum-refugees/