Do degrees cause financial distress?

Did you know in 2017 the median annual income for full-time university students was approximately $4,000 below the identified ‘poverty line’ for single Australian adults?

                                                   -University student finances 2017. Report for Universities Australia


As part of Anti-Poverty Week 2018, Swinburne Student Union is hosting a public facing forum to address topical and often-times critical issues impacting the social and economic experience of tertiary students, such as the growing occurrence of tertiary student homelessness.

The aim of the forum seeks to both shine some much needed light upon issues that may not otherwise get the public airing and recognition they deserve, while also providing some tangible tips, tricks and advice to those attending the forum; life-hacks and insights from service area specialists and experts.

While this forum aims to engage current students of Swinburne, it’s also an opportunity for Swinburne staff, stakeholders and anyone interested to engage with the assembled expert presenters and panellists.

Participating speakers and panellists at the forum will include:

  • Ms Samantha Marangell, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne who will deliver a presentation on key findings from Universities Australia research on the ‘State of Student Finances 2017’
  • Ms Rachel Spencer, Associate Professor & Director Monash Law Clinics
  • Mr Adrian Campion, Tenants Victoria
  • Ms Elizabeth Minter, Financial Counselling Australia
  • Ms Linda Cargill, National Tertiary Education Union

Some key facts from the Universities Australia research:

In 2017:

  • the median annual income for full-time university students was ~$4,000 below the identified ‘poverty line’ for single Australian adults
  • 14% of student survey respondents regularly went without food and other necessities (up to 25% of Indigenous students and 20% of students from low SES backgrounds)
  • 60% identified finances as a source of worry
  • 33% had living expenses exceeding their income
  • 10% deferred studies and 20% reduced study load due to financial reasons
  • 80% balanced study and work, with 1/3 of full-time students working 20+ hours a week
  • 30% regularly missed lectures & classes due to paid work commitments.


Do degrees cause financial distress?

Swinburne Student Union Anti-Poverty Week Forum 2018

Tuesday 16th October, 4.30 – 6.00pm


ATC101 (Advanced Technologies Centre Lecture Theatre)

Swinburne University


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