Newcastle international students discuss violence

TWO University of Newcastle students have spoken about attacks on overseas scholars at an international student roundtable that concludes today.

Vicki Chew, from Malaysia, and Alexa Halford, from the United States, were chosen to represent the University of Newcastle at the two-day conference held in Canberra.

Foreign students at the University of Newcastle have been victims in at least 17 of the 24 robberies reported in and around Callaghan Campus this year.

Ms Chew said yesterday issues such as safety and travel concessions had been raised at the conference.

"We're talking to a lot of people and actively engaging them. We're making a lot of progress," she said.

The students will present a report to the Ministerial Council on Tertiary Education and Employment later this month which will inform the review of laws that govern international students.

At the opening of the conference Education Minister Julia Gillard said the Federal Government was developing an international student strategy in conjunction with the states.

The meeting was announced after the overseas student market came under scrutiny because of attacks on Indian students and problems with education providers.

The Government has established a hotline where students can anonymously raise concerns. The number is 1300 363 079.

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