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Accommodation assistance for ACU students displaced by Covid-19 crisis Proposal

Posted by Australian Catholic University on 14 May 2020
Accommodation assistance for ACU students displaced by Covid-19 crisis Proposal

Current Issue

  • International students currently residing in Australia on student visas are facing potential residential and financial crisis due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus outbreak)
  • Loss of employment throughout the casual workforce has seen many students become financially unstable, creating an inability to cover rental payments and living expenses
  • Many of the countries where international students originate have been forced into full lockdown, including total closure of borders, in order to minimise the spread of Covid-19. This has resulted in international students forfeiting the option to return home
  • Financial strain has also impacted the families of students and therefore financial support from parents/guardians has been minimised
  • Limitations on international transfer of funds have also been enforced by some countries, resulting in international students residing in Australia being unable to receive funds from overseas.

ACU International Students

  • In 2020, ACU has almost 4,000 International students enrolled, with the majority studying professions in health, education, psychology and social work
  • International students are vetted by the Department of Home Affairs when issuing Student Visas
  • Most of ACU's International students have undertaken a National Police Check and/or Working with Children Check
  • Despite the challenges being faced by ACU International students, many are very focussed and determined to continue to complete their studies, despite the dramatic change in teaching delivery from face-to-face to online

Proposal

  • ACU is providing ongoing support to its international students those that have returned to their country of origin, as well as those that remain in Australia
  • As an inclusion to this support, ACU is attempting to identify alternative low- cost accommodation options for students that are facing potential eviction or rental terminations due to hardship
  • Should such accommodation be successfully sourced, ACU will work with providers to develop a tailored approach of management, based on the configuration of accommodations available, to provide short term accommodation of 2-4 months for international students in crisis.
  • ACU's Living & Learning Communities will develop a mutually suitable framework to support the provider, which would include the following:
    • - Residential Handbook relative to the property
    • - Rental Agreement
    • - Incoming and outgoing inspection reports
  • Living & Learning Communities, as well as ACU International, will be available to support these students during their time residing in these accommodations
Author: Australian Catholic University
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