Crucial support for our students during COVID-19
As a champion of social justice, Flinders University holds an unwavering belief that those with the ability to succeed through education should be given the opportunity to do so and has recently created the Matthew Flinders Scholarship to support students during this difficult time.
With rising levels of unemployment and under-employment, university students, many of whom had casual and contract roles to sustain them through their studies, continue to be hit hard by the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic.
As a result, thousands of Flinders students continue to face financial hardship and are struggling to meet their basic living costs.
Victoria Griffin is a second-year student in the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) and was working two part time jobs to support herself during her studies. Following the COVID-19 restrictions, the hotel Victoria was working at closed and she lost her job as a trivia host. She also lost her second job as a promotion assistant doing food sampling in supermarkets – a job that won’t be reintroduced for the foreseeable future.
She says, ‘The financial uncertainty this brought has caused me a huge amount of stress.’
Victoria learnt that Flinders had created a COVID-19 Student Support Package, which included student relief payments of $500 and the $2,000 Matthew Flinders Scholarship.
Her application for the scholarship was successful and has helped Victoria to pay her living costs including bills and rent.
‘To receive this scholarship is a huge weight off my mind. It has been so uplifting – both in terms of assisting with my financial stress, and because it has felt so encouraging to have the support of the Flinders community at this time,’ she says.
In an incredible show of support for students, the Flinders community of alumni and staff donated generously to the Matthew Flinders Scholarship, enabling the University to provide much needed emergency relief to nearly 1,500 students in its first round of support.
However, further support for students is still needed.
Around 4,000 domestic students are feeling the greatest financial impacts of the pandemic. These are students who are already vulnerable due to their low socio-economic background, and those who experience barriers to education, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, rural and regional students, and students with a disability.
Another 3,500 international students are also struggling and have been unable to return to their home countries due to travel restrictions. Many are cut off from vital family support while others have families who have lost their capacity, due to COVID-19, to support them through their studies.
As we open a second round of Matthew Flinders Scholarships, we can already see our students’ need for financial support continues to be high.
If you would like to support students with their essential basic living needs, such as food and rent, please donate online to the Matthew Flinders Scholarship Fund. Supporting students through scholarships not only relieves financial distress but also provides the morale boost they need to continue their studies and achieve their degree.
Emergency relief for students – donate today
Don’t let COVID-19 be a barrier to our students being able to fulfil their potential – help provide emergency relief today. 100% of your donation will support Flinders students in financial need through the Matthew Flinders Scholarship Fund. flinders.edu.au/supportstudents