COVID-19 Victoria University Support for Students
Victoria University of Wellington has provided a package of support to assist students cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. This university has already provided support for their students out of their own pocket, and aims to help any further student in need. Here is a list of how Victoria University has provided support for their students:
Victoria University offered a 30 percent reduction in Trimester 1 fees for students who were not able to come to Wellington because travel bans. This offer was taken up by 274 students and cost the University $1,003,095.
Withdraw from courses:
All students were offered an extension to withdraw from courses in which they were enrolled. A total of 442 students took up this offer, resulting in costs to the University of a further $430,000.
For Trimester 2, the University has provided a fees scholarship to people whose life or work has been impacted by the global pandemic. As at 20 July 2020, 515 students had been awarded this scholarship, at a cost to the University of $1.5 million.
Students in the University-owned halls of residence were not charged any accommodation fees during alert levels 3 and 4 and were given the opportunity to cancel their hall contract without financial penalty. Students who opted not to return to their hall of residence until the second trimester were not charged any fees until they returned. These fee discounts have cost the University $6,872,560.
Additionally, the University provided students living in Stafford House, owned by UniLodge, with a four-week full rent rebate over the alert level 4 period, regardless of whether they remained in the hall during that period or not. This was at a cost of $270,750 to the University.
The Hardship Fund is an emergency fund to support students facing financial difficulty. It is open all year to students who are already studying and need help at any point in time. It covers costs such as necessary medical, dental, or optical costs, unforeseen flatting or family problems, and costs related to teaching experience placements.
These hardship grants are reinforced to encourage students who are facing financial hardship to continue their studies at the University. Students who apply before the start of the trimester, will usually find out whether their application has been successful in the first week of the trimester—these funds are designed to give students the needed certainty in whether they will receive the necessary financial support to stay on course. These funds, as of 24 July, cost the University $490,323.
Victoria University, along with many of the other universities within New Zealand, have dedicated their time, money and resources to help aid students going through hardships during COVID-19.
Image from Victoria University of Wellington.