500 signatures reached
To: Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Federal Cabinet
Support Australia's future, Support postgrads!
The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations' list of demands to support domestic postgraduate students in Australia with the endorsed support by The Australian Council of Graduate Research Inc, The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Postgraduate Association , The National Union of Students and The Union of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students includes that:
1) RTP stipend scholarship payments must be made available, to all HDR students, who remain enrolled, for the entire duration of the COVID-19 pandemic
2) COVID-19 stimulus package payments must be available to all HDR students, for the entire duration of the pandemic, including to those who are recipients of the RTP stipend and/or tuition fee offset scholarships
3) Extend the COVID-19 stimulus package payments to all postgraduate coursework students for the entire duration of the COVID-19 pandemic
4) RTP stipend recipients, who must suspend their candidature due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are recognised as unemployed and are automatically entitled to payments from the Special Benefit scheme, equivalent to the current base RTP stipend scholarship, because they are experiencing financial hardship
5) Self-funded HDR students and students on any other forms of scholarship support, whose employment/income is impacted by the COVID-19, pandemic, should be eligible for the COVID-19 stimulus package and all Special Benefits whether they are full/part time, enrolled or need to suspend their candidature
6) Extend the COVID-19 stimulus package payments to all HDR students, on a Disabilities Pension and Carers payments, for the entire duration of the COVID-19 pandemic
7) All HDR and coursework postgraduate students who are on paid placements through industry partners as a part of their degrees, will be guaranteed funding for the entire duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and placements thereafter
8) ‘Care Packages’ should be provided to all postgraduate students who are required to self-isolate. This package would include food and other essentials
9) HDR/postgraduate coursework students are to be provided ongoing relief, until the COVID-19 situation becomes settled, by freezing their rental payments, utility bills and any other costs which can indirectly affect their studies or health
10) A new category of leave be established for students adversely affected by COVID-19
11) Carers responsibilities be granted associated with the shutdowns
12) That domestic violence leave be granted to all postgraduate students for the duration of the shut down period
Why is this important?
The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is disappointed that as it currently stands, most domestic postgraduate students will not benefit from the COVID-19 stimulus payments, and they too will suffer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Postgraduate students are struggling with financial hardships and the government needs to address the far-reaching implications that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on domestic and international postgraduate students.
Domestic postgraduate students need to be supported financially during this pandemic so they can continue with their studies, which are vital for Australia’s long-term economic growth and research reputation.
Australia’s HDR and coursework students deserve better than to fall through the cracks!