Dr. Shesh Ghale and Jamuna Gurung, a billionnaire power couple from Melbourne are usually in the forefront during crises – take the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal. Serving as the President of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) during the crisis, he and wife Gurung set a good example of ‘leading by example’.
Fast forward 5 years, this time the crisis is unlike anything witnessed previously – the entire globe is affected as nations scramble to save their citizens/residents from a novel coronavirus. The impact of the virus extends from public health to national economies – and like every crisis, reports across the world are suggesting minorities are the most vulnerable.
In Australia, while the government announces decisions to provide assistance to their citizens/residents first, temporary visa holders such as international students and skilled workers have found themselves without any support.
Thus, comes the intervention from Melbourne Institute of Technology – in the form of financial assistance to its students.
“MIT’s Governing Board has pledged $1,000,000 to support international students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. The Financial Hardship Fund is available for all students who are enrolled in either an MIT course or a Federation University course at MIT in Trimester 1, 2020. Students at both MIT’s Melbourne and Sydney campuses are eligible for support under this goodwill fund”, the press release at MIT’s website reads.
As per the Press Release, the “Financial Hardship Fund will be accessible to eligible students through one-off grants of up to $500 each. Guidelines for eligibility criteria and how the fund will be administered are being developed”. Students are not required to repay the grants.
Melbourne Institute of Technology, established in 1996, was founded by Dr. Shesh Ghale and Jamuna Gurung. According to a report by the Australian Financial Review, the college has an estimated 4,000 students.
Ghale told he was concerned most about the newly arrived students in Australia for the first trimester.
“My most pressing concern is that we had 500 students newly arrived in Australia for the first trimester, which started last week, and making sure those who are in self-isolation are okay,” Ghale told the Australian Financial Review.
MIT has since been delivering its courses online – and the financial assistance is part of a string of other assistances provided by the institute to its students.
The management is currently evaluating the eligibility criteria of the financial assistance – students who are enrolled in either an MIT course or a Federation University course at MIT in Trimester 1, 2020 are encouraged to check www.mit.edu.au for updates.