The NSW government has allocated $360,000 for the toolkit, which is one of a number of programs designed to enhance employability, entrepreneurship and research and development skills.

“Being isolated from friends and family for long periods is difficult for everyone and this is especially true for international students right now,” said the state’s minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women Bronnie Taylor.

Among the recipients of the project for students who have chosen to study in Sydney and New South Wales are ISANA International Education Association, which will develop a Lived Experience Toolkit, and the Academy of Entrepreneurs will deliver ‘Masterclass for Impact’, a series of workshops on employability and entrepreneurship.

Other grantees include a Research and Development Project Program where international students will assist a real NSW SME, a virtual entrepreneurship program, the University of Technology Sydney’s Aus LEAP program will connect students with volunteering opportunities, while The FRANK Team will deliver a seven-week Work Integrated Learning program offered in collaboration with seven universities.

“The international education sector remains one of the state’s biggest exports”

The Lygon Group will deliver The Student Source, a student sentiment tracker to analyse shifts in students’ attitudes and make recommendations for NSW based institutions, while the International Student Education Agents Association will work on a research report on the impact of Covid-19 on education agents and deliver a strategy on how to recover.

“The international education sector remains one of the state’s biggest exports, sustaining thousands of jobs across NSW,” deputy premier and minister for Trade and Industry John Barilaro said.

“These co-funded projects are part of a range of measures from the NSW government to support almost 170,000 international students currently studying with NSW education providers both here and overseas.”

A previous poll of students stranded outside of Australia during the pandemic, carried out by the Council of International Students Australia, found that 93% had experienced significant mental health issues.

“I want each and every one to know that it is completely normal to feel stressed, overwhelmed or uncertain and there is specialist support available if they need it,” Taylor added.

Between 2014 and 2021, Study NSW has invested more than $2.4 million across 61 partner projects and attracted $8.4 million in industry contributions.

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