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Deakin CREATE provides education access for refugees

Making a significant difference to the lives of students from a refugee background.

Students from refugee backgrounds will now have more access to information about tertiary education and financial support thanks to a new project by Deakin’s Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education (CREATE).

Funded by a grant from the Bennelong Foundation, Deakin CREATE will produce a first-of-its-kind educational guide, followed by a series of Australia-wide workshops that will train tertiary staff in the best practice for the admission and support of refugee students.

Due for completion in early 2020, the guide will provide students with key information on a range of topics including recognition for prior learning, scholarships and contacts while also showcasing student success stories.

Distributed across Deakin CREATE’s partner organisations in the refugee sector such as the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, Salvation Army, Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Refugee Council of Australia, the guide will also be regularly updated and available online through the CREATE’s website.

Deakin CREATE director Professor Alexander Newman, Associate Dean (International) in the Faculty of Business and Law, says the project is focused on giving access to education and financial support to one of Australia’s most vulnerable student groups.

‘Students with certain visas categories are not eligible for HECS assistance and must pay full international student fees – they also lose all support when they start at university. To make things easier, many universities have introduced scholarship programs however many students are unaware of the scholarships on offer or how to apply for them. The follow-up workshops will also be used to encourage universities who are not yet providing scholarships to consider offering them and highlight the benefits,’ he explains.

The Bennelong Foundation supports projects that create a healthier, productive and more inclusive community and Prof. Newman says one of its priorities is focusing on projects that provide access to education and training for diverse groups of people in Australia. 

‘This focus is aligned with the remit of CREATE which is to support individuals from refugee background to access education and obtain employment. We are looking forward to working with the Bennelong Foundation to make a significant difference to the lives of students from a refugee background’.

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