Right now, placement students are facing a crisis. Degrees in a range of fields such as teaching, allied health, social work, and nursing require vital on-the-job training – but this work is often unpaid. For some students, like Georgia, the rising price of basics like food, petrol and accommodation are making it nearly impossible to continue their studies.
Georgia returned to university with a clear goal in mind – to follow her dream of becoming a primary school teacher. However, as she progressed in her Master's of teaching, the mounting financial pressures began to take a toll on her mental health.
“I was so stressed because six weeks is a long time to not work. Because I work in a school, I couldn't even hold another job at the same time as being on placements like some people can.’
Students like Georgia are doing everything they can to build the practical expertise they need to graduate. They want successful and rewarding careers that fill vital roles in industries facing skills shortages. But they need your help to cross the finish line. Georgia makes it clear what we will lose if nothing is done.
“We are so passionate about what we do, but the financial pressure of placement is forcing those of us who are passionate and best fit for the field to not complete their courses. Think about who you want teaching your own children, or looking after yourself or your family when they are unwell. We cannot get to these positions to help you without help.”
The fact that the current economic crisis is worsening existing financial difficulties for students is a dire one – but Industry Placement Bursaries can change this. Financially supporting students on unpaid placements has never been more important.
Universities do not receive funding to address the cost-of-living expenses associated with supporting students during their placements. However, institutions like La Trobe are making efforts to provide financial assistance to those students who are disproportionately affected through scholarships and bursaries.
La Trobe’s Industry Placement Bursaries can transform the experience of students like Georgia. If a student is financially stable, they are more likely to follow their studies to completion. If they can devote more time to their studies – they’re able to go from simply surviving, to thriving.
The determination and perseverance exhibited by students like Georgia serve as a testament to their resilience. Urgent support is needed to provide bursaries for hard-working and passionate students like Georgia, so they don’t have to give up on their dreams.