University of Melbourne expands support measures for students during global pandemic

Image of students under the Welcome sign at the University of Melbourne Parkville campus

The University of Melbourne has increased its support for students in 2022, helping them to realise their ambitions through a range of scholarships and support programs.

These new and expanded initiatives will make it easier for talented students from diverse backgrounds, both domestically and internationally, to start or complete their education at the University of Melbourne.

Expanded student supports include:

  • Expansion of the Access Melbourne program, the cornerstone of the University’s equity and access commitment. This special entry scheme will support more Australian students from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to join and contribute to the University community.
  • Expansion of the Melbourne Graduate Scholarships program to support current undergraduate students at the University of Melbourne and other Australian universities to continue their graduate studies at the University of Melbourne. These one-off $5,000 scholarships will support Australian and international students wishing to enrol in a broad range of graduate coursework programs.
  • Expansion of scholarships for international students. These merit-based scholarships start at $10,000 per student for new and current high achieving international undergraduate and graduate coursework students, wherever they are in the world.
  • Melbourne Welcome package, a new one-off $4,000 grant plus a special welcome pack to support new and current international students arriving and returning to Australia when borders open and travel restrictions ease. This package has been designed to help ease the burden of international travel costs and assist students in getting settled and connected in our local community.
  • Study Hubs in several international cities are being developed for students based offshore to connect with their peers and alumni in person.
  • Further counselling and psychological support enhancements, including more personalised engagement for offshore students, to help support their mental wellbeing.

University of Melbourne Provost, Professor James McCluskey said that the new initiatives have been designed based on feedback received from the student community throughout the global pandemic.

“Attracting capable and committed students from diverse backgrounds, nurturing ambition and supporting them to fulfil their potential is critical to our purpose,” said Professor James McCluskey.

“The diversity of our cohort enriches the learning experience for all students and this remains a key part of the Melbourne experience.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on our university community. We recognise that many of our current and prospective students around the world are facing significant challenges and we need to do everything we can to support them.

“Over 14,000 students are currently studying at the University while living offshore. While border closures make it impossible for them to join us right now, we are making every effort to facilitate their return while also improving technology for course delivery and significantly expanding our suite of scholarships and support programs.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the University has created more interactive and engaging online learning experiences and expanded its range of student support services to help students stay well and thrive in their studies, including support for health and wellbeing, peer and career mentoring and careers supports.

In 2020 these measures included the delivery of $60 million in student support initiatives and emergency grants for more than 16,000 students whose study or research was severely affected by the onset of the pandemic. The University also distributed more than 78,000 free meals to around 10,000 students, in partnership with SecondBite.

These initiatives are part of the University’s broader support for the wellbeing of its community, including five days “recharge leave” for all staff members in recognition and thanks for their hard work and ongoing contribution.

More information on the expanded suite of scholarships and support programs are available online.