Victoria University has launched an emergency support fund to help students with vital financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Fund will start with $300,000
“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.
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).
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 will coordinate further fundraising efforts in the coming weeks aimed at staff, principal partners and alumni for ongoing student support.