There are few more important ways people seeking asylum can advance their future than through education. Unfortunately, people seeking asylum are not entitled to Federal government funded 510 free hours of English classes which is only offered to newly arrived migrants. The ASRC’s education program enable people to feel empowered to build a new life in Australia.

A committed team of education advisors and volunteers assist hundreds of members each year to improve their English language skills, help build their self confidence and encourage them to develop personal and career goals.

“I’d like to start by saying thank you to the ASRC..for helping me enrol in Certificate IV Education Support. It is my short term goal to work as a teacher’s aide and my long term goal to practice my profession as a teacher” – student

English language classes

The English as an Additional Language (EAL) classes at ASRC Footscray and Dandenong are offered daily for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. The weekly class schedule also includes advanced grammar and English for hospitality in conjunction with the Community Meals program for members who wish to enter the hospitality industry.  Classes are taught by 80 qualified teachers who volunteer 1,596 hours of English classes each year.

Teaching incorporates aspects of Australian cultural history and society along with the usual EAL study materials. In addition, concepts such as ethnic diversity, tolerance, mutual respect, ‘a fair go’, and respect for religious diversity are included as topics for class discussion and in study materials.

The ASRC offers refugees and asylum seekers the chance to learn English

Asylum Seeker Vocational Education and Training

The Asylum Seeker Vocational Education and Training (ASVET) program is is a Victorian State Government funded initiative to support up to 3000 people seeking asylum and refugees to gain access to Government-subsidised VET courses until June 2018. Under this initiative, the ASRC will directly refer up to 1000 eligible applicants to Government subsidised training courses.

The ASRC offers training for refugees and asylum seekers in Melbourne

IELTS preparation

The ASRC offers Victoria’s only free International English Language Testing System (IELTS) preparatory class to prepare eligible students in their listening, reading, writing and spoken English skills in readiness for their test. Passing this test is often a requirement for people seeking asylum and refugees whose first language is not English, to take part in further education or employment in Australia.

The ASRC can help refugees and asylum seekers with preparation to IELTS

Home English Tutoring (HET)

The ASRC also offers Home English Tutoring (HET) to people seeking asylum who are not able to travel to the centre. This program offers one-to-one English support for people seeking asylum, usually in their homes or sometimes in a library, for an hour each week. In 2016, this program offered 1,400 hours of free HET.

Students find it difficult to travel to the Centre for English classes for reasons such as their health, family caring arrangements, work or access to public transport. Tutors plan teaching sessions to suit the needs and interests of the particular learner. This relationship is often mutually benficial where students learn about Australian culture, community and customs while the teacher learns about the culture in their country of origin.

Through the ASRC, refugees and asylum seekers have the opportunity for home tutoring

La Trobe University scholarship

A dedicated scholarship program partnership with La Trobe University was launched in February 2017 to assist people seeking asylum to access higher education. The College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce ASRC Scholarships will be awarded to two people seeking asylum each year for three years in recognition of their achievements and resilience and also the confidence of the University in their educational success.

La Trobe University scholarship for refugees and asylum seekers