Australian Universities financial support to international students affected by COVID-19

Australian universities themselves are starting to lead the charge in providing the international student cohort with the support they need.

The Council of International Students Australia (CISA), the peak body representing international students in Australia is calling for welfare packages with financial support for international students in Australia. Its Education Officer Domi Dana Johnson says international students are amongst the highest contributors to Australia's economy and as such, their contributions should be used in providing support to them. She also says the education cost should be lowered as the courses have moved to an online model.

Here is a list of Australian universities that introduced Financial packages:

Federation University

Federation University will provide financial assistance to support currently enrolled, on campus (Ballarat, Berwick, Brisbane, Gippsland and Wimmera), eligible domestic and international higher education students impacted by a reduced income due to reduction in or loss of employment as a result of the impacts of COVID-19. Students' eligibility for support will be assessed on their individual needs and circumstances.
Assistance may include:
  • Weekly assistance of up to $300 each (for up to five weeks)
  • Funding for computer and/or technology assistance for students who are unable to study remotely
  • FedLiving accommodation assistance
  • Student Tuition Fee due-date extensions
For more information about Federation University support please click here

La Trobe University

La Trobe University COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program is available to current students in exceptional circumstances struggling with the costs of living and accessing technologies required to study online. Students will be asked to complete an online application and support will be distributed to eligible students who plan to continue and complete their studies and who have been assessed as demonstrating greatest need. There is a limited number of bursaries available.

Two sources of support are available:

  • Technology Bursary* – Provision of a laptop and/or dongle to support students who do not have access to computers or internet at home
  • Crisis Support Bursary – One off, $3000 payment for individual students experiencing significant financial crisis and housing insecurity.

Students may apply for both bursaries.

* Due to low levels of internet access 50% of technology bursaries are reserved for students enrolled in regional campuses.

For more information about La Trobe University support please click here

Flinders University

Flinders University have developed a $12.5 million Flinders Student Support Package. It offers a range of support for students, including cash payments, a new scholarship program and the waiver of some fees. The package includes:

  • $1 million in emergency support payments, of up to $500, made available to students through FUSA;
  • A new Matthew Flinders Scholarship program, with scholarships valued up to $2,000, to support the continuation of your studies; and
  • The waiver of the Student Services and Amenities Fee for all students.

For more information about Flinders University support please click here

Monash University

Monash University today announced a $15 million Student Compassionate and Hardship package for students suffering financial hardship.

Eligible students can apply in two stages: 1) a $500 immediate emergency payment and 2) payment of up to $7000 after April 14.

This package will be funded by existing University resources and philanthropic support.

For more information about Monash University support please click here

University of South Australia

UniSA has created the $10m Student Hardship Fund (COVID-19), which is open to all students (including international students) currently enrolled for onshore study at UniSA, who are in financial crisis and struggling with the costs of living and studying as a result of COVID-19.

University of South Australia has established a dedicated $10 million fund to support those in severe financial circumstances as a result of COVD-19. This fund is now open to all students enrolled for onshore study in UniSA at all levels.  The fund has been established to assist those most in need of support right now and complements the wide range of support available across the University.

For more information about University of South Australia support please click here

University of Melbourne

In recognition of this hardship, the University has introduced a new needs-based COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund.

An overarching limit of $7,500 across all COVID-19 related support packages (including the COVID-19 student support grants) will be applied, which will take into account any other grants you have been awarded by the University and other forms of support.

For more information about University of Melbourne support please click here

University of Newcastle

At the start of April we announced the establishment of the University of Newcastle COVID-19 Student Hardship Fund valued at $1 million. This investment will focus on supporting a range of student emergency needs for those most vulnerable – from funding meals, helping pay bills, to assisting with accommodation for those in great need. The fund demonstrates our long-standing commitment to equity - it is our absolute priority to help students continue with and succeed in their studies. We will share more details by 10 April, including the way to apply.

For more information about University of Newcastle support please click here

RMIT University

RMIT’s Student Hardship Assistance and Equity Scholarship funds have been expanded to provide up to $10 million in support to students impacted by COVID-19. Students impacted by COVID-19 can now apply for two types of financial assistance from RMIT:

1. Emergency Financial Grant

To support students who are impacted by job loss, housing insecurity or other financial matters associated with COVID-19. This is for non-tech expenses, such as essential living expenses, textbooks, accommodation, healthcare, or food.

2. Technology Grant

To help students access essential IT equipment to continue studying remotely, including hardware, software, subscriptions, data, internet and digital materials. The Technology Grant is limited to up to $1,000 per student.

For more information about RMIT University support please click here

University of New England

Funding has been made available from the University to support quick response grants for UNE students experiencing financial hardship impacting their ability to continue their academic studies (course program or research) at the University.

The grants are intended for students who find themselves in unexpected or unforeseen financial hardship, specifically as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The fund does not have the capacity to support a recipient with ongoing costs, and students should note that funds, where provided, are done so on a one-off basis and there are limits in terms of how much funding is available or can be provided to each applicant.

For more information about University of New England support please click here

Edith Cowan University 

ECU launches $2 million Student Support Package

ECU has launched a $2m AUD Student Support Package to assist current students with financial hardship - this is also available for international students. The scheme includes:

Access to ECU Support Grants of up $2,000: this fund is for students who have been significantly disadvantaged by COVID-19. Funds of up to $2000 per student will be made available dependent on eligibility;

Hardship Payment Scheme: all international students who are suffering financial difficulty are automatically eligible for a payment plan for their semester 1 tuition fees, with due dates automatically extended to 1 May 2020;

For more information about Edith Cowan University support please click here

Maqcuarie University

To support your success and help you meet your financial needs we have implemented the Student Success Support Package.
Who is it for?
All Macquarie students can benefit from the support package.  Priority will be given to students most in need and those who can’t access any other financial packages or support arrangements.
We need to take a holistic view of your circumstances.  In the application you’ll be asked about your current employment, weekly accommodation costs, your savings and other forms of government assistance you might receive or be eligible to receive.
What financial support could you get?
  • You must be currently enrolled in either: session 1, term 2, full year units, Online 2 (GMBA) or MDA and MDC (Medicine),  or OUA Session 1
  • Any money granted will be paid into an Australian bank account in your name only
  • There is no fee to apply for any of these support options
  • You can receive multiple levels of support.

For more information about Edith Cowan University support please click here

Victoria University

As part of VU’s ongoing commitment to support our students through these challenging times, Victoria university has launched the COVID-19 Student Support Fund. This emergency fund was created for students who are most in need. It supports enrolled students studying in Australia in both higher and vocational education.

You may be eligible for the following:

  • Emergency financial grant for students impacted by self-isolation/quarantine requirements or job losses. This grant is for essential living or study expenses related to food, healthcare, textbooks and materials (non-tech) for study up to the value of $100.
  • Technology grant to support students in pursuing studies that have transitioned to digital platforms (e.g. voucher to support the purchase of a wifi dongle up to the value of $100). 
  • Crisis housing support for students who have encountered hardship as a result of the loss of paid employment. Rental assistance grants up to the value of $500.

For more information about Victoria University support please click here

In response to the changing environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic Deakin has developed a support scheme for students in need.

The safety and wellbeing of our community remains our top priority, and we are doing everything possible to support our students, during this difficult time.

Support options range from monetary amounts to other relevant support mechanisms, such as fee extensions. To find out more about the support scheme, eligibility requirements and to apply, visit the appropriate link below.

For more information about Victoria University support please click here.


The South Australian Government has demonstrated its commitment to our international student community today, by announcing a new $13.8 million International Student Support Package. This package is designed to support international students currently residing in South Australia and facing financial hardship.

There are three components to the package:

1)  The South Australian Government, in partnership with the state’s three public universities, will match funding to alleviate student hardship as a result of COVID-19. The funding will be distributed between Flinders University, The University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia to distribute to their pathway and international students.

2)  A $500 emergency cash grant will be available to other international students not studying at one of the public universities, currently enrolled in a course, living in Adelaide and who meet the criteria.

3)  For school students living with South Australian families, a one-off $200 COVID-19 assistance payment per student will be provided to homestay families, to help support accommodation for school students.

For more information, including FAQs and for your students to register for updates on the application process visit

Western Sydney University

As a summary of what Western Syndey University has done in the last few weeks to help the existing cohort, please find the main points listed below:

  • Offered all coursework and masters of research students studying onshore a 10% tuition fee reduction on their Semester 1 or Quarter 2 2020 fees. We are the only university in Australia to make this concession. Students can request a refund of these fees by contacting Student Hub, or leave it as a credit in their student account and it can go towards payment of their next session’s fee.
  • Provided students access to an additional hardship fund on a case by case application basis to give further financial assistance for those who are struggling. Contributions to this fund come from its own staff making personal contributions, including up to 20% salary contributions for all our senior staff.
  • Provided food packages to any international student seeking support.
  • Given all international students an accommodation guarantee – no student will go without accommodation if they encounter difficulties in finding housing.

For more information about Western Sydney University support please click here.



ATMC announces ATMC July 2020 Financial Hardship Support Scholarship of up to 30% for Federation Universities degrees in Melbourne and Sydney for prospective Onshore Students:

ATMC Financial Hardship Scholarship* for Onshore students (Up to 30%) for Federation University degrees at ATMC Melbourne and Sydney:

 Course Name
Current Fees (Semester-wise) AUD
Fees After Scholarship (Semester-wise) AUD
Scholarship Amount AUD
Scholarship %
BIT and Sub-Streams
B.Com(Accounting)/Bachelor of Business
30.98 %
M.Tech(SE)/ M.Tech(ESBA)

*Terms & Conditions Apply  (Financial Hardship Scholarship)

  • Scholarship ranges from 24% to 30% for different programs at Melbourne & Sydney Campuses 
  • The scholarship is available to all onshore students commencing study in the July 2020 intake 
  • Non-refundable minimum deposit for the CoE issuance (Student Payment Plan applicable)
  • Usual scholarship conditions apply