Queensland Government ramps up support for visiting students

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 officers through the Queensland Student Hub. A digital platform linking case workers with students to guide them through mental health, visa, crisis accommodation and other essential needs.

Multicultural Australia has provided Support Officers to connect with students through the portal. The officers help students access support programs offered by their education provider and other charity organisations.

Ministerial Champion for International Education and Training the Honourable Kate Jones MP said the Queensland Student Hub was part of $2.2 million in funding allocated to support students today.

“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 Queensland 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.”

The portal adds to more than $10 million collectively offered in international student assistance offered by universities, TAFE Queensland, and other education and training providers across Queensland during COVID-19.

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. Students who have been assessed as being in significant hardship by the Student Support Officers may be eligible for further assistance.

“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.