COVID-19 support package for students
Food, housing and employment subsidies, as well as grants and interest-free loans, are among the measures included in the $15 million UTS student support package.
The support package is available to both domestic and international students experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.
Existing support programs for UTS students commit $8.3m a year in hardship assistance. Additional measures introduced in response to COVID-19 will increase total support funds to $15m.
“We take our duty of care towards our students seriously,” said UTS Vice-Chancellor Attila Brungs.
It is times such as these when our public institutions are most needed.
Vice-Chancellor Attila Brungs
“We want to ensure that students, regardless of their background, are able to continue their studies by providing necessary assistance for students who are facing financial hardship.”
The support package includes:
- Student grants of up to $1500 for living and other expenses
- Interest-free loans for students of up to $3000
- Student housing subsidies up to $2000 for UTS Housing residents
- Support for students in relation to computer, software and internet access
- Food subsidies for students in self-isolation; delivery of freshly cooked meals from UTS retailers for UTS Housing residents in self-isolation
- A new program worth $500,000 to subsidise student employment for students who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 and are ineligible for support.
Domestic students can access Youth Allowance, JobSeeker or JobKeeper payments, but many students who have lost work, or whose families have lost work, due to the effects of COVID-19 are still struggling.
While there is limited support for international students who have been in Australia for longer than 12 months, international students who have been here for less than a year have no access to Federal Government support. Other vulnerable groups – for example, those who have little money accumulated in superannuation – risk financial distress.
Universities are also communities in ourselves. We want students to know that in this time of social isolation, they are not alone.
“It is times such as these when our public institutions are most needed,” said Professor Brungs. “While universities provide vital research and will have a significant role to play in skilling and reskilling to enable the recovery after COVID-19, we are also communities in ourselves. We take our responsibility seriously, and we are committed to ensuring our vulnerable students are provided for through UTS’s comprehensive support package.
“We want students to know that in this time of social isolation and heightened anxiety, they are not alone.”
UTS plans to work with the NSW Government and other universities to deliver a collaborative response in ensuring support systems for all students, including international students.
I'm Geoff Lee, Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education. I want to thank the University of Technology Sydney for your support of international students.
UTS are helping students access grants and subsidised employment for students who have lost a job. Students should check the university's website and Study New South Wales website to find out what assistance is available.
Most importantly, please stay safe. We'll get through these difficult times together.