The Palaszczuk Government has doubled efforts to support international students stranded in Queensland as a result of COVID-19.
From today, students aged over 18 will be able to connect with professional support counsellors through a homegrown counselling service. A digital platform will link case workers with students to guide them through mental health, visa, crisis accommodation and other essential needs.
Ministerial Champion for International Education and Training Kate Jones said the Online Student Hub was part of $2.2 million in funding allocated to support students today.
Along with the portal announced today, the government is also offering tuition support, laptops, isolation care-packs, pre-prepared meals and other living expense payments to students.
“This industry is a huge employer in Queensland – supporting more than 20,000 people throughout the state,” Ms Jones said.
“We must take care of struggling students. If we don’t, operators throughout the state could lose hundreds of millions of dollars.
“University, TAFE and college students are juggling a range of challenges including loss of work, separation from friends and family and severe anxiety. This online tool will put these students in contact with professionals who can help them.
Ms Jones said Study Queensland had appointed local EdTech firm Vygo to develop the digital platform which allows students to access resources, chat functions and book free counselling sessions.
“These students need our help. With flights cancelled and our borders shut, many of these students are stranded in Queensland. They need our help,” Ms Jones said.
Multicultural Australia will provide the online counselling resources. Students in demonstrated financial hardship may also be referred to GIVIT for emergency assistance.
Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for Cross River Rail
The Honourable Kate Jones