|Financial or Hardship Policies||Current Response|
|Extend RTP Scholarship durations|
Confirmation from the Department of Education that amendments will be made to the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2017 to allow extension of RTP scholarship to a maximum of 4 years and 6 months for research doctoral degrees and 2 years 6 months for research masters degrees – at the discretion of universities.
|Support funding of paid placements through industry partners|
Amendment to the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to enable government grants that include cover paid idustry placements and supporting training of research students.1,2
Announcement of over $100 million for fee and regulatory relief to public universities.3
|Eligibility to Special benefit Scheme||Currently no response|
|Eligibility to COVID-19 stimulus package and/or providing ‘care packages’|
University hardship funds also supported through state treasury with further initiatives to be discussed by the Education Council to support international students.3
Please refer to
Study Melbourne – $45 million fund to support international student
Study Adelaide – $13.8 million International Student Support Package.
Study Queensland – Isolation care-packs, pre-prepared meals and other living expense payments are also available to students as part of a $2.2 million package.
ACT Gov – Red Cross will also work with tertiary institutions to provide $150,000 in ACT Government support to international student, more support through a $450,000 ACT Government support package.
Study Perth – to help international students who have an acute need for food, shelter, support and health and wellbeing.
Tasmanian Gov – Payment of $250 per individual or up to $1000 per family. Accommodation support and further relief also available.
NSW Gov – NSW Government will fund temporary crisis accommodation for stranded international students as part of a $20 million package
|Financial Relief (i.e. Freezing rental payments and utility bills)|
The National Cabinet announced the state and territory governments will be moving out to put in moratorium on evictions of persons as a result of financial distress. Support on rental freezing and other such support will vary by state/territory.4
Release of the National Cabinet’s Statement of Expectations for the energy sector to include flexible payment options and not disconnecting supply/services for those experiencing financial stress. Will be acted on by state and territory governments to work with utility companies.4
|COVID-19 study leave|
Student unable to adequately continue due to restrictions imposed, HEPs have discretion to either suspend a student’s RTP scholarship (preserving a student’s period of support) or continue the student’s enrolment (consuming some of the student’s period of support).
RTP students are also able to receive additional paid sick leave of up to a total of 60 working days where a student has insufficient sick leave entitlements available subject to universities.
|Assistance for those with carer’s responsibilities|
Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package Announcement: Morrison government will pay 50 percent of the Child care sector’s fee lowering the overall cost of childcare in Australia for the next three months.5
|Domestic Violence leave|
Announcements of $1.1 billion , $32.5 million and $154 million to support mental health services, domestic violence support, Australians living with disabilities, medicare assistance for people at home and emergency food relief for Australians.6,7,8
|VISA and CoE conditions for converting to part-time|
TEQSA supports universities’ effort to keep students enrolled, and “accept that this may include a reduced study load”.9
Lifting work restriction for International students (20 hours a week) working in the healthcare/aged care industry and supermarkets. Though those hours will return to 20 hours a week for supermarket jobs on May 1st.10
|VISA extensions to extend stay in Australia||Recommendation for students to apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600) if they are coming to the end of their degree and require additional time in Australia.11|
|Healthcare cover and support|
Healthcare support for international students is currently under the initiative of state and territory governments and will therefore vary for different states/territories. Check the state/territory government’s health service website for more information.12,13
|Flexibility to ESOS Act|
TEQSA has announced that in semester/trimester 1 of 2020 will allow universities to be flexible with specific sections of the ESOS Act 2000 regarding the proportion of study permitted to be delivered by distance or online learning.9,14