09.07.2020GBCA’s Support to Students’ Wellbeing during COVID-19
Global Business College of Australia (GBCA) established in 2014 is the Australian campus of a Hong Kong-publicly listed education group, which has campuses in both Singapore and Mainland China. GBCA delivers vocational and higher education programs in partnership with the University of Canberra for bachelor’s and master’s degrees on the ground in Melbourne. GBCA’s sibling company, Edvantage Institute Australia (EIA), has recently been registered as a higher education provider and its Bachelor of Marketing course was accredited by TEQSA. More than 2,000 students from over 20 countries are enrolled in GBCA to study a range of accredited courses: language, commerce, business, IT and education. GBCA has also provided customised corporate training for more than 200 corporate executives from many established companies.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, GBCA has made a variety of efforts to support students at both GBCA and other institutions across Victoria. Through close collaboration with other parties, GBCA has provided complimentary packages for more than 500 students who were facing a severe shortage of food or hygienic necessities.
In addition, GBCA implemented a ‘Pandemic Care Bursary’ to alleviate the economic pressure on students. Every eligible person was entitled to a tuition credit of up to $750.
To build resiliency amongst our students during these challenging times, various virtual information sessions and webinars were held to offer support and advice on maintaining good mental health, keeping fit and healthy, staying positive, and planning well during the difficult times. Counselling support has also been accessible for those in need of legal assistance like solving residential renting disputes.
As the Australian and Global community tentatively transitions back to a new state of normalcy, GBCA is calling on State and Federal Governments to work collaboratively with the private sector to support the Australian international education industry. An example would be a temporary increase of the number of hours students are able to work per fortnight (currently 40). This would provide students with the ability to make up for lost income during the COVID-19 shutdown, ensuring they can continue to live and study in Australia. This would be supported by education providers and financial institutions, offering payment plans and loans to support students through this challenging period.
GBCA, Managing Director Celina Ping Yu says “I am optimistic about the future of the Australian international education industry and the long-term opportunities for both Melbourne and our college”. She says “the contribution of international students to the vibrancy of Melbourne is without question together with the successful management of this global pandemic by the Australian and Victorian Governments which has given assurance to students globally that Australia remains a well-run and ultimately a safe and enjoyable place to study. While the rebuilding period will not be without short-term challenges, GBCA is confident that collectively we are up to the task”.