Vu Releases Study On International Student Safety In Melbourne

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16th February 2010, 02:03pm - Views: 1085

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VU Releases Study on International Student Safety in Melbourne

MELBOURNE, Feb. 16 /Medianet International-AsiaNet/ --

   A Victoria University study into the safety of international students in Melbourne has found that a vast

majority find the city to be a safe place. Nevertheless, many students reported threats to their safety that they

believed had a racial, religious or cultural element.

   More than 1000 international and domestic students across Melbourne were surveyed for the study by VU's

Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives (ICEPA). A further 35 students completed in-depth

interviews and 29 stakeholders, including Victoria Police, student associations and consular officials, were

also interviewed at length.

   Other key findings include: 

* More than half of surveyed international students found the city less safe than they had anticipated

* A complex cocktail of factors were identified by students as safety threats, including lack of access to safe

affordable housing, high-risk employment and poor transport options, but racism was one of the most

frequently mentioned

* Perpetrators of violence were frequently identified by those who participated in the study to be groups of

young, alienated men  

   VU's Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Linda Rosenman said the report was an exploratory study

funded by the University in June last year to examine the issues surrounding the attacks on international

students in Melbourne. 

   "It is a thorough study and although we make no claims that the survey sample is fully representative, we

believe the report provides valuable evidence and indicates the need for further research," Professor

Rosenman said.

   "The report identifies the need for government, education providers and authorities to better understand and

to acknowledge all factors affecting the safety of international students.

   "We now have evidence that housing, employment, transport and racism are all in the mix as factors that

influence attacks and abuse of international students in Australia.

   "The opportunism argument - that a student who has been assaulted or robbed was in the wrong place at

the wrong time - appears likely to be true in some cases. However, in other cases students say that racism

was a motivating factor. As Victoria Police officers interviewed as part of this study have indicated, the

distinction can be blurred.

   "It is essential that threats to the safety of international students in our country are minimised. This means

developing prevention and support programs that address the major issues raised in the report. Safety is a

basic human right and must be protected."

   Pre-recorded audio files commenting on the report by Professor Rosenman are available at the following link

   Copies of the full report including the executive summary are available at: 

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   Media contacts: 

   Jim Buckell, Communications Officer, 

   Government Liaison Unit, Victoria University

   Ph: +61 (03) 9919 4243; 

   mobile: +61 0400 465 459; email:

   Andy Gash, A/ Media Manager,

   Marketing and Communications, Victoria University

   Ph: +61 (03) 9919 4950; 

   mobile: +61 0411 255 900; email:

   SOURCE: Victoria University

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