Fares Fair PTV position paper: Public transport concessions for Victorian postgraduate students

How many full-time postgraduate students are there in Victoria?


There are 112,235 postgraduate students in Victoria, and 70,197 of those are full-time. That’s over 70,000 students missing out on the concession fares available to all other Australian students.


What public transport concessions do postgraduate students get in other Australian states?

Victoria is the only state in Australia that doesn’t give student concessions to full-time postgraduate students.

Every other state and territory offers concessions to domestic postgraduate students.

All states except Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland offer full concessions to international postgraduate students, and New South Wales and Queensland offer partial concessions to international students.

Victoria is out of step with other Australian states and territories, and needs to recognise that postgraduate students deserve the same concessions as other Australian students.


Why do concession fares matter to postgraduate students?

According to a Universities Australia report, postgraduate students are struggling:

  • Almost half of all full-time, domestic postgraduate coursework students have incomes below the poverty line.
  • One in seven postgraduate coursework students has an income of less than $10,000 a year.
  • 74.1% of domestic postgraduate coursework students and 67.6% of domestic postgraduate research students say their financial situation is often a source of worry to them.
  • 3% of domestic postgraduate coursework students and 12.8% of domestic postgraduate research students regularly go without food or other necessities because they cannot afford them.
  • Transport costs make up on average 20% of postgraduate coursework students’ budgets, and are also a large expense for postgraduate research students.


How do international postgraduate students feel about the lack of public transport concessions?

According to a report from the Australian Council for Private Education and Training, a lack of concessions for international students makes them feel less welcome in Victoria:

  • 90% of international students say that the lack of public transport concessions would affect their recommendation of Melbourne to other potential students.
  • 67% say that if they had known there weren’t public transport concessions available, they would have chosen somewhere else to study.
  • 57% of international students said they would be more engaged with their community if they were eligible for public transport concessions and so could travel more freely.