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Community digs deep to help University students

A fund set up to support University of Southern Queensland students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic has raised $50,000 in donations from staff and the wider community.

Lockdown restrictions have had a major impact on many Australians, some experiencing disruptions to their personal, professional and financial situation.

The University moved fast to continue its students’ education journey unabated.

In addition to academic support and one-off payments to those impacted, the University set up a Student Emergency Support Fund which has raised $50,000 over the past six months.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) Professor Josh Pienaar announced the fund’s success today (October 22) and thanked donors for their ongoing support for the student community.

“Since day one, our priority has been the wellbeing of each and every one of our students,” Professor Pienaar said.

“Together we adapted to unprecedented challenges, offering wellbeing, financial and technological support as social distancing change was implemented.

“We thank all who joined us in contributing to the Student Emergency Support Fund – more than 100 donors who provided a massive helping hand.”

Professor Pienaar said they had worked with students to determine how best to spend what was raised.

“Students were our partner in this process; they have spoken and we have listened,” he said.

As a result of student feedback, multiple initiatives will be set in motion: a virtual care package to help address mental health concerns; and the purchase of online textbooks.

“The care package will include tips of motivation, referral to the University’s counselling services, reminder of services and wellbeing support,” Professor Pienaar said.

Find out more about the Student Emergency Support Fund or watch the video here

Standing man smiling at camera.
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students), Professor Josh Pienaar.