Irish Council for International Students calls for measures to ensure the financial well-being of International Students
The Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) has today (01.05.20) published the results of their survey outlining the health and wellbeing of international students during the Covid-19 crisis.
Speaking about the results of the survey, ICOS Executive Director Sarah Lennon said “International students attending higher education and English language schools are entitled to take up casual employment alongside their studies and many businesses rely on these workers throughout the year. One of the most concerning results of the survey is that there are students who have lost their jobs and newly-arrived students who cannot take up employment due to the current crisis. Many of these students are not in receipt of any income, including the pandemic payment.”
The ICOS survey demonstrated that recently-arrived English language students are in a particularly vulnerable situation, with many having difficulty accessing a PPS number, without which they are not eligible to access the pandemic payment or jobseekers payments.
Ms Lennon continued“As a way of removing the barriers to accessing information relating to payments and supports, ICOS has asked the Minister for Social Protection to provide information in different languages in order to make the payment and processes more accessible to international students.”
Additionally, while ICOS welcomes the ban on evictions during the pandemic, concerns remain about the capacity of international students to pay back-rent having lost or failed to gain employment.
Ms Lennon continued “Financial uncertainty is a big challenge for international students, and we are asking the government to provide state supports such as Exceptional Needs Payments for these students who find themselves in a precarious position after the Covid-19 crisis has abated”.
The ICOS survey findings can be downloaded HERE