Griffith University has announced further investment in its COVID-19 Student Support Bursary and a range of other measures to help students in recognition of the significant need among its domestic and international student community.
The Bursary has now been increased to $5m in 2020, with a proportion of the additional funds to come from the University’s Senior Executive, who have volunteered a pay reduction of 20 per cent for six months.
More than $2m has already been dispersed to help vulnerable students transition to online study.
What amounts to a 20 per cent reduction in international student fees for Trimester 2 has also contributed to the University’s financial support measures while $1.8m is being provided in equity scholarships and support for Indigenous students.
Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said the University was committed to helping as many students as possible through this difficult time.
“Over the course of my career, I have never seen a more difficult time for students, with many losing their only source of income to support themselves”
“Over the course of my career, I have never seen a more difficult time for students, with many losing their only source of income to support themselves,” Professor Evans said.
Professor Evans said the university’s international student population had been hit particularly hard by the crisis.
“International students have been unable to access federal government support, and many have lost part-time jobs as a result of COVID 19, while their families at home have also been affected and are unable to provide financial support.
“Going home is also not necessarily possible due to travel restrictions and limited flights.”
Griffith Vice President (Global) Professor Sarah Todd said the University would not stand by and watch members of its community suffer significant hardship.
“We hope this additional financial support goes some way to alleviating the anxiety and hardship our students are enduring at this time.”
More than 2200 domestic and international students have now received COVID 19 support bursaries with 200 students borrowing a computer through a new computer loan program to ensure they can continue their studies.
The University received thousands of applications for the initial round of the bursary scheme with the next round to open in early May.
No Fail grades will be recorded on academic records this trimester, ensuring the grade will not be included in calculations of a students’ Grade Point Average (GPA).
As well as providing support directly, Griffith is working with its student representative bodies, Study Gold Coast, Study Brisbane and Study Queensland, plus other community organisations, to provide additional counselling services, meals, food hampers, vouchers for groceries and emergency accommodation.
“The support from our local communities has been incredible, from the restaurants which have donated meals through to families that have offered to take an international student into their homes,” Professor Todd said.
Public donations towards the University’s COVID 19 support bursary can be made at www.griffith.edu.au/development-alumni/giving/covid-19-student-bursary-support