Melbourne safe, say international students

However, many foreign students who said they had perceived threats to their safety believed those threats carried a racial, religious or cultural dimension.


A study into the wellbeing of international students in the Victorian capital revealed safety fears often arise because of a lack of affordable housing, risky employment and poor transport options.

The Community Safety of International Students in Melbourne: a scoping study, was conducted by the Victorian University following the increasing incidence of violence against international students.

It was carried out between June and November last year and included an online survey of 1013 students, 515 of whom were international.

Online survey

The study also included interviews with key stakeholders, such as Victoria Police.

While 82 per cent of all students found Melbourne, overall, was a safe place to live, half of the international students believed that when their safety was threatened, there was a racial, religious or cultural element to the threat.

Of the 515 international students, 403 reported perceived threats to their safety, and 50 per cent of those felt the threats were motivated by racial, religious or cultural factors.

The report found a complex range of factors contributed to the safety threats, including lack of access to safe affordable houses, high risk employment and poor transport options.

It also found offenders were often identified as groups of young alienated men.

The report makes a number of recommendations including setting up an information hotline, better access to safer transport and better information for new international students.