NSW international student concession fares

About the campaign

New South Wales is the only state which excludes international university students from public transport concessions. Lack of access to public transport concessions makes New South Wales a less desirable study destination for overseas students.

In a coalition of peak bodies and campus-based student associations in New South Wales, we are campaigning for the State Government to implement concession fares for all students, including international students.

This builds on the efforts of several other previous campaigns by other organisations. We acknowledge the recent efforts by a Sydney-based group of international students who campaigned under the name Make Travel Fair, using direct actions such as rallies and petitions throughout 2018.

Research on international student concession fares

We have developed a discussion paper on the cost and benefits of extending public transport concessions to international university students in New South Wales. Download the full paper here.

We estimate that extending public transport concessions to higher education students in New South Wales would cost the state a maximum of $169 million per year. This is based on the assumption that all students will be using the weekly maximum Opal card (which is currently $25 concession or $50 full fare) for 52 weeks per year. In reality, most students will use public transportation less often, especially those who travel to their home countries during study breaks.

This cost is minimal when compared to the $13 billion injected into the state’s economy by international students in 2018. Reducing this everyday cost for international students will increase their satisfaction with their treatment in Australia, at a relatively small cost to the state.

Campaign coalition

This campaign is coordinated by the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations, in partnership with the Council of International Students Australia and the National Union of Students. The campaign includes the joint effort of all campus-based student associations in New South Wales:

  • Newcastle University Postgraduate Students Association
  • Newcastle University Students’ Association
  • Southern Cross Postgraduate Association
  • Students’ Representative Council, University of Sydney
  • Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association
  • University of New South Wales Postgraduate Council
  • University of New South Wales Student Representative Council
  • University of Technology Sydney Students Association
  • University of Western Sydney Student Representative Council
  • University of Wollongong Undergraduate Students’ Association
  • Wollongong University Postgraduate Association

Case study volunteers

We are seeking students to volunteer to be case studies for our campaign. These case studies may be drawn on for media coverage. We are looking for a diverse range of case studies. If you would like to remain anonymous, we can give your story a pseudonym.
For further information or to provide your details for a case study, please contact president@capa.edu.au