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Support for students

There are a number of options available to students for extra support during your study.

On this page:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Rural, regional and remote students
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • Students with a disability or health condition
  • Sexually and gender diverse (LGBTIQ+) students
  • Students who are parents or carers
  • Students from low-income backgrounds
  • First in family to attend further education
  • Managing your mental and physical health 
  • Finding employment

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Most universities or higher education providers have Indigenous student support centres.

Services may include orientation activities, learning support, peer-mentoring, tutoring and cultural support.

There are many scholarship opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have no cap placed on their access to Commonwealth supported places (CSP) for undergraduate degrees at public universities, except for medical degrees. Students will still need to meet the course entry requirements and have a student contribution amount to pay or defer to a HELP loan.

Rural, Regional and Remote

Support for rural, regional and remote students (including for distance education or online studies) may include orientation activities, accommodation officers, student support services, welfare services, academic support and provision of networking opportunities. 

The Australian Government encourages regional and remote students to undertake higher-level tertiary study by offering:

  • Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships (Up to $18,000 depending on the type of study).
  • Regional University Centres that provide campus-like facilities and support, including study spaces, video conferencing, computer facilities and Internet access, as well as academic skills and wellbeing support for tertiary students studying via distance in regional and remote locations. 
  • From 2021, a new one-off $5,000 Tertiary Access Payment to assist eligible relocating outer regional, remote and very remote school leavers to access higher-level tertiary study immediately after Year 12/equivalent. Students relocating to study at a university will apply through their university. Students relocating to study at a university will apply through their university. Students relocating to study at a non-university higher education provider or a vocational education and training provider will apply through Services Australia.

Specific rural, regional and remote student payments and services are also available through Services Australia, including the Relocation Scholarship and Fares Allowance. 

Culturally and linguistically diverse students

Many providers encourage students to make connections through social and cultural clubs and societies.

Check if your provider offers program such as English-language support, orientation activities, peer-mentoring or other services to help you with study.

Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Some education providers offer scholarships specifically for people seeking asylum, and refugees on temporary visas. The Refugee Education Special Interest Group provides an overview of available scholarships by universities. 

These scholarships can be for different purposes, like course fees or living expenses.

Students on a Permanent Humanitarian Visa are eligible to access a HELP loan for their tuition fees.

Students with disability or health condition

If you have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that stops you from working you may be eligible for the Disability Support Pension. Students who are already receiving the Disability support pension may also be eligible for a Youth Disability Supplement or additional Pensioner Education Supplement to assist with study costs.

Providers can support access and participation for students with disability or health condition by:

  • making reasonable adjustments so you can participate in all learning activities
  • referring you to disability support officers, counsellors, on-campus medical services or other student services
  • organising support to assist you with managing your study load.

Sexually and gender diverse (LGBTIQ+) students

Most providers offer support services to LGBTIQ+ students during their study. These may include a dedicated LGBTIQ+ community, social events, targeted counselling services and student support liaison officers. For more information check out the support services offered by your provider.

Scholarships and mentoring are available through the Pinnacle Foundation for LGBTIQ+ students who are studying full time at public universities. 

Other community support options include:

  • Olife - Australia's first nationally-oriented counselling and referral service for people who are LGBTIQ+
  • Organisation Intersex International Australia - a national body by and for people with intersex variations, promoting humans rights and bodily autonomy for intersex people and providing information, education and peer support. 
  • National LGBTI Health Alliance - The national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on LGBTI and other sexuality, gender, and bodily diverse people and communities. 

 

Students who are parents or carers

Many providers support students to manage carer responsibilities while studying by providing flexible learning options (e.g. online or part-time study), on-campus child care, parent rooms and parent support groups.

Child Care Finder has information on different types of child care, child care fees and child care centres in your local area.

Carers Australia and the Department of Social Services offer broad support and information for carers.

Specific carer payments and services and child care payments are available through Services Australia.

Students from low-income backgrounds

Many providers support students from low-income backgrounds through admissions pathways, peer mentoring, academic learning support, advice on financial assistance (e.g. bursaries, scholarships and managing budgets) and where to access emergency financial assistance.

Access to HELP loans removes the barrier of upfront fees.

Special payments for students, trainees and Australian Apprentices are available through Services Australia.

Students who are the first in their family to go to university

If you are the first in your family to attend higher education or go to university, you might not have anyone in your family or community who you can talk to about your experience.

The First-in-Family website has resources, information and case studies to support you.

Managing your mental and physical health

Your mental and physical health is an important part of your life as a student.

Most providers have medical centres and doctors on campus.

Your provider's counselling services and welfare officers can help you with issues such as bullying, advocacy, sexual health, financial assistance, legal advice and student conflicts.

Your provider also aims to keep you safe on campus with security staff, access passes for after hours and emergency procedures in place. Some universities also have specific violence and sexual assault support.

There are also community support options, including online and phone-based mental health resources. 

Websites

  • Headspace - the National Youth Mental Foundation that provides mental health services to 12-25 year olds
  • ReachOut - online mental health service for your people and their parents
  • Head to Health - Australian Government service that provides a wide range of digital mental health resources

Phone

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
  • Suicide Call Back Service on 1300  659 467
  • SANE Australia on 1800 187 263
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
  • Headspace on 1800 650 890
  • OLife on 1800 184 527
  • Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) on 1800 008 774

Finding eEmployment after study

To help students get a job after study, most providers have careers and employment services that can offer:

  • Career advice and counselling
  • Resume checking and job readiness activities 
  • Resources to help you find part-time employment while studying 
  • Support for job placements, internships or industry placements while you study
  • Support to connect employers when you graduate.

Read tips to help you get a job once you graduate.