Melbourne, August 12: The best and brightest international students and education providers in Victoria will be recognised at this year’s International Education Awards.

Minister for International Education Steve Herbert today officially opened nominations for the awards, which recognise the strength of our providers, research excellence and the accomplishments of international students.

The awards, now in their fourth year, include seven student awards and seven provider awards, as well as two Premier’s Awards for the International Student of the Year and International Education Provider of the Year.

This year’s awards include two new categories, ‘International Student of the Year – Regional’ and ‘International Alumnus of the Year’.

Minister for International Education Steve Herbert said that as the largest services export “international education is vitally important to the future of jobs growth in Victoria. For this reason the Government is proud to support these awards that celebrate excellence in the sector.

“These awards are a great opportunity to recognise those students and education providers who are stand out performers and acknowledge their contribution to ensuring Victoria remains the education state,” he said.

International Student Award winners, with the exception of the International Alumnus of the Year, will receive a scholarship of $10,000 to contribute to their study at an educational institution in Victoria, while the recipient of the ‘Premier’s Award – International Student of the Year’ will receive an additional $10,000 towards their studies.

Recipients will also be recognised as ambassadors of the Victorian Government’s Study Melbourne initiative and help promote the State as a leading international student destination.

International Education in Victoria supports more than 30,000 jobs throughout the state and has more than 175,000 students enrolled across the sector.

Earlier this month, Victoria in supporting the 175,000 international student communities launched a new legal support service at the Study Melbourne Student Centre to assist students with workplace issues.

The service, provided by JobWatch, offers a suite of work-related legal support for international students with $120,000 funding as part of Victorian government’s International Student Welfare Grants Program.

The announcement follows a number of cases of international worker exploitation at a number of large and small employers where students were being paid below minimum wage and worked more hours than legally allowed.

The program will ensure that students are aware of their workplace and consumer rights, to help combat unacceptable instances of workplace exploitation.

Students can either access the service in person every Thursday at the Study Melbourne Student Centre or over the phone from Monday to Friday by contacting 1800 056 449.

According to Steve Herbert, Minister for International Education, international education is Victoria’s number one service based export and supports more than 30,000 jobs across the state, generating $5.6 billion dollars for the economy last financial year.

The Victorian Budget 2016/17 included $32 million to drive continued growth in the international education sector. It will also be used to help implement the International Education Sector Strategy.

Applications for the International Education Awards are open until Sunday 28 August 2016. Learn more about the award categories and nominations.

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