Thursday, 09 April 2020 13:20

Victoria University sets up COVID-19 emergency student support fund Featured

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Victoria University has launched an emergency support fund to help students with vital financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund, which will commence with a starting amount of $300,000, will provide eligible VU students (higher and vocational education studying onshore) with funds for:

  • essential living or study expenses while impacted by self-isolation/quarantine requirements or job losses (up to $100)
  • technology purchases for students to transition to digital platforms (up to $100)
  • crisis housing support (up to $500).

VU says the one-off grants for students will be assessed on a case-by-case basis that considers other available grants and support through existing VU services and programs, government schemes, and other funding bodies.

VU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Dawkins, said the fund is part of VU’s ongoing commitment to support its students “through this unprecedented period”.

“There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is putting significant financial pressure on a number of our students,” Professor Dawkins said.

“We have been closely monitoring the impact to our students and we hope that our support fund will play a small part in easing some of that pressure.

“It’s important that we all work together, as a community, to ensure that our students are supported as much as possible to be successful in their studies through this extraordinary time."

Professor Dawkins said that VU had been working with its student associations - including the VU Student Union, the VU Postgraduate Association, and the International Student Association - to develop the fund and set its funding priorities.

“Part of the funding has come from the VU Executive Team who have donated 10 per cent of their salaries for the next six months,” Professor Dawkins said.

VU says it will coordinate further fundraising efforts in the coming weeks aimed at staff, principal partners and alumni for ongoing student support.

To access more information on the VU COVID-19 Student Support Fund click here.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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