QUT students who have recently completed a mandatory placement as part of their degree can now apply for a $50 voucher from the QUT Student Guild.
To be eligible to receive a voucher, applicants must be current QUT students, have completed an unpaid, mandatory placement in the last month, and completed the Placement Financial Support Survey.
The survey has been live for around ten days and received over 70 applications during this time, all of which have been approved (excluding two non-QUT student applications).
QUT Student Guild Welfare Officer John Longwill said the data collected in the survey will be used to form a report surrounding the problem of unpaid work, and will aim to highlight the shortcomings in the current system.
“The report aims to evaluation the financial pressure that students are being put under to complete their education in their chosen field,” he said.
“[It will] also will look at better ways that support can be provided for these students, drawing from common themes and experiences given by students through the survey.”
Longwill said while he doesn’t have access to any data surrounding how many students are currently completing mandatory placements, the number is likely to be high when considering how many degrees require it.
“I just think it says a lot that even I underestimated the range of degrees that have a large placement component required as part of their course,” he said.
Longwill confirmed that the Student Guild is planning to continue the program later this year.
“As it currently stands, we have more than enough funding to continue this program into Semester Two and are planning to do so!”
Once students submit their application it will be processed within two business days and, if approved, students can collect their voucher from the Student Guild offices in C Block at QUT Kelvin Grove.
Students can also apply for an Equity Work Integrated Learning Bursary or a Emergency Bursary through the University. These scholarships are available to students facing financial hardships, and are valued between $300 and $1000, based on your demonstrated need.
A recent Instagram post on ABC Brisbane’s account asked followers whether nurses, allied health, and teaching students should be paid for their placements, and responses were overwhelmingly supportive.
Many commentors spoke about their own experiences doing unpaid placements, and some pointed out the fact that students still pay a course fee for the Work Integrated Learning units.
Look out for a more in-depth article about the financial struggles QUT students face when undergoing mandatory placements. If you have a story to tell, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need financial help or you are struggling to adjust to student life, you can book a welfare appointment with QUT.
You can also contact the Student Guild Welfare Officer at email@example.com