Charles Darwin University (CDU) has today announced that it has put in place strategies to help its students impacted by the current COVID-19 lockdown.
The University is offering free counselling and hardship grants for students who may need financial support for food, emergency housing support or may have been impacted by loss of income from casual or part-time work.
CDU has also set up a dedicated CDU COVID helpline to support students facing hardships who may be struggling with lockdown and is working with The Kindness Shake to offer free meals to students.
CDU Pro Vice-Chancellor, Student Engagement and Success Sam Jacob said many students may be overwhelmed by lockdown and impacted financially.
“Many of our students have been negatively impacted by the current lockdown,” Ms Jacob said.
“Many of them depend on income from part-time jobs in industries such as hospitality which are now closed. We know that this is leading to stress and financial hardship which is making study very difficult.”
CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman said the University was acting to ensure a range of measures were available to support students.
“We understand this is a challenging time for our students who may be away from their regular home base and would encourage them to use the supports available to them. Both Australian and International students are encouraged to seek support,” Professor Bowman said.
“Most of our staff are set up to work from home and so we hope to minimise any disruption to our teaching, training and student services.”
CDU Masters of Accounting student Rafat Hossain arrived in Australia in March last year from Bangladesh just before borders closed.
“Things are pretty tough, our hours at work have been cut, which is a bit challenging financially. It’s a hard time but we are getting through it,” Ms Hossain said.
“One week is manageable but longer than that will be challenging. We hope it will get back to normal soon.”
Ms Hossain who is living in student accommodation on Casuarina campus said there has been some delays for students impacted with placements being postponed due to lockdown.
“The student community is pretty resilient and has been supporting one another, the communal areas in our student accommodation have made it easy to connect with fellow students,” she said.
Any student facing hardship should contact the University on the CDU COVID helpline 1800 945 010. More information: cdu.edu.au/news/coronavirus-updates/students
Students are encouraged to book a free appointment here with a counsellor: cdu.edu.au/current-students/life-wellbeing/counselling.
Free meals for students are available here: MEALS OF KINDNESS Tickets, Wed 30/06/2021 at 11:00 am | Eventbrite
Campuses at Casuarina, Waterfront and Palmerston and Alice Springs will remain closed for the rest of this week and for as long as the Territory remains in lockdown. The lockdown in NSW is also impacting CDU and so CDU’s Sydney campus is also currently closed.