Update on Financial Support for Semester 2 — 20 August 2020

The good news is that the University has FINALLY announced that the Emergency Support Fund has been extended for Semester 2. Details of these updates are now available at: https://students.unimelb.edu.au/student-support/coronavirus/financial-support/emergency-support

The bad news is that this is not going to be of equal assistance to everyone, and plenty of you will still miss out on the support that you need.

Firstly, the overall cap of $7500 is now applied over the whole year. So, for students who have already received the capped amount or close to it, and continue to suffer financial hardship, there’s not going to be any relief for you in this announcement.

Similarly, students receiving Centrelink remain ineligible for the grant even if they are experiencing severe financial hardship.

Finally, if you’re an up-front fee-paying student—a financial burden that the University already imposes—there is still no capacity to include a fee reduction as part of the University’s financial support, no flexibility in fee deadlines, and no capacity to negotiate payment plans, nor an overall reduction in the cost of fees for international students.

Why is the University acting as though students’ financial situations are now improving, when it’s blatantly obvious that everyone is in increasingly more difficult circumstances as the pandemic worsens?

We are calling on the University to recognise and respond to the diversity in the real and immediate financial needs of its students, and to immediately implement changes that address these gaps and shortfalls.

We need your help to ensure your voices are heard.

🚨 Sign and share the petition! 🚨 It only takes 30 seconds —https://www.megaphone.org.au/p/greaterfinancialsupportforstudents