If you’re an asylum seeker or refugee, we understand that you might find adjusting to university life a little bit challenging — but rest assured, you are not alone. Whether you’re looking for work, a home, need help with studying or if you’re feeling lonely, we are here to help you.

Scholarships, awards and grants

If money is tight, scholarships and grants can be a good source of financial assistance. Check if you are eligible to apply for one of the scholarships below, or explore the range of grants available:

Swinburne Welcome Scholarships provide opportunities for holders of Bridging Visa ‘E’ (BVE’s) (subclass V050), Temporary Protection Visas (TPV) (subclass V785) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEV) (subclass V790) to access a variety of courses at Swinburne University.

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Achievement Cleaning is committed to helping permanent humanitarian visa holders in Australia. The university currently has a significant student population of students who identify as being enrolled under a permanent humanitarian visa. This scholarship is designed to support commencing students holding a humanitarian visa in a Diploma or Advanced Diploma Course.

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The Swinburne Student Achievement Awards recognise students who have experienced significant personal hardship or adversity and have persevered with their studies.

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Support services

Asylum seeker and refugee students are entitled to use Swinburne's full range of Student Support Services. Here are a few highlights:

  • Mentoring services

    Like many students, it’s probably your first time away from your family and friends. If you’re finding it hard to adjust to university life, our friendly team of student mentors are here to help you settle in!

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    Clubs and student organisations

    Join a club or student organisation and meet like-minded people, explore new hobbies and get involved with the issues you care about. Find your people.
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    Spiritual care

    If you need a peaceful place for prayer, meditation or quiet contemplation, or wish to speak to a Chaplain for spiritual care, head to Swinburne’s Multi Faith Centre.

  • Health and wellbeing

    We offer comprehensive professional health and medical services to support the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of the Swinburne community.

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    Health services

    Book an appointment with a doctor, nurse or specialist and find out about costs.

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    Health information and advice

    Mental health, sexual health, nutrition. Frank info, no holds barred.

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    Student systems, hardware and software

    Swinburne has a wide range of student systems, applications and software you can use to help with your studies including the Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office 365.

  • English language students working in a group

    How to improve your English

    We offer a range of English courses to help get you up to speed on written and spoken English to ensure you make the most of your studies.

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    Academic Development Advisers

    If you’re having trouble with your studies or feeling unsure about your course, we’re here to help you get your studies back on track. 

Looking for employment advice?

At Swinburne, we have a designated careers team who can help develop your career and have a student-only job board where you can access all the latest employment opportunities.  Make sure you also review your rights on the Fair Work Commission website, which is available in 30 languages. 

External support organisations

A number of organisations are dedicated to supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. They are not linked to Swinburne, but you may find them useful:

Refugee Council of Australia

The Refugee Council of Australia has a useful directory of services for refugees. The is the national umbrella body for refugees and people seeking asylum and those who support them. They are a are a nonprofit organisation with over 1000 members and completely independent of government. 

Refugee Legal Network 

The Refugee Legal Network provides legal assistance to refugees and asylum seekers

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre provides general support for asylum seekers. The centre is an independent not-for-profit organisation, whose programs support and empower people seeking asylum to maximise their own physical, mental and social well being. 

Foundation House

Foundation House provides services to refugees who have experienced traumatic events. The organisation aims to advance the health, wellbeing and human rights.

Travel discounts

The state of Victoria’s public transport services offers a 50 per cent discount to asylum seekers travelling on their services with a valid concession card.

Learn more

Need further assistance?

Please contact our Refugee and Asylum Seeker Project Coordinator Susan Oldham on +613 9214 4454 or email her below.

Send an email