More than 700 million people, or 10 per cent of the world population, still live in extreme poverty today, struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation, to name a few.
– United Nations

Victoria University addresses global and local poverty through targeted research and practical local solutions.

Investigations conducted by our institutes and centres tackle the origins of poverty, identifying strategies to remedy issues such as unequal access to health and education.

Within the University, support for marginalised groups includes scholarships, academic-progression opportunities, and culturally safe spaces. Free food programs, crisis support funds and other practical assistance address short-term poverty in our University community.

 1 no poverty: icons of people

Research projects & engagement 2020-21

The Centre for International Research on Education Systems and the Mitchell Institute prepared a major report to inform educational policy. The report Educational opportunity in Australia 2020: Who succeeds and who misses out provides indicators to measure progress towards the national goals for education. The national data shows that the Australian education system is not bridging the gap between rich and poor in the crucial early years of learning, allowing cycles of poverty to continue.

The number of Australian children at risk due to family employment stress doubled in 2020 to 1.4m according to COVID-19, Employment stress and student vulnerability in Australia report by the Mitchell Institute. The report highlighted the need for urgent government action to prevent long term damage to the education and work prospects of young people in communities suffering from COVID-19 related job loss.

Microfinance has become a means of addressing poverty, through small loans to poor people to fund ventures that will provide an income. A study of microfinancing in Indonesia found that to improve depth of outreach with a given level of sustainability, microfinance institutions should provide more loans with the group lending methodology.

Research on the economic impact of tourism in Uganda shows that while tourism serves to reduce poverty in the short run, the effect reduces in the long-run, and so further economic stimulus is necessary to break the cycle of poverty.

Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute was awarded a $5.5m grant by the Paul Ramsay Foundation to conduct a community-based research program in the west of Melbourne to improve the transition from school to further education and work. The program aims to break the cycle of poverty for young people from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

The Master of International Community Development engages with the UN SDGs in the course learning outcomes and practice-based assessments, to prepare graduates to work on SDG projects and programs of implementation. The approach is one of critical engagement, interrogating intersectionality and social and cultural inclusion in the SDG targets and indicators.

Units focus on transformational change, including: transnational gender issues and human rights; conflict resolution in groups and communities; engaging communities for sustainability; building capacity: and mobilising civil society, as well as project and organisational management. Students undertake a research thesis or a community-based research project arising out of a placement with a partner development agency or project in Australia or overseas.

Research groups addressing Goal 1

Programs addressing Goal 1