Many of our students support themselves during their studies with part-time and casual work—some doing as many as two or three different jobs to get by. However, these positions have greatly diminished as a result of the pandemic, especially in the hospitality sector. As a result, thousands of our students are now facing financial hardship and struggling to meet their basic living costs.
While lectures have now been shifted to online delivery to keep our students safe from COVID-19, there is now a need for all students to have access to technology, though many simply do not have the funds to buy the resources needed. And this is on top of the struggle to meet basic living costs.
Approximately 4,000 of our domestic students will feel the greatest hardship from the pandemic. These are students who are already experiencing disadvantage from low socio-economic backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, those from rural and regional areas, and students with significant disabilities.
It is also estimated that nearly half of our 3,500 international onshore students will need additional financial support at this time. There are no other financial supports available to these students and they cannot return to their home countries due to the travel restrictions currently in place.
The University has made a substantial contribution to creating a COVID-19 Student Support Package, beginning with relief payments of $500 to be made from Monday 6 April to students with urgent and immediate need.
However, with so many students in distress, we are seeking more help from our Flinders community to make this support as widely available as needed through the establishment of a new Matthew Flinders Scholarship Fund - with the aim of raising $4 million.
Your support will help students with their essential basic living needs, such as food and rent, along with the technology to study online. Reducing the financial stress for these students will help relieve their anxiety and enable them to continue to focus on their studies.
For many, this will be an all-important morale boost that means the difference between continuing their studies at Flinders or ending their educational aspirations altogether.
Please don’t let COVID-19 be a barrier to the talented students of today fulfilling their potential for tomorrow.
100% of your donation will support Flinders University students through the Matthew Flinders Scholarship Fund.