University partners with nib to support students’ health and wellbeing

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Hundreds of University of Newcastle international students impacted by COVID-19 have received health and hygiene care packages, generously donated by long-standing University partner – nib health funds (nib).

International student Angela Mesa from the Philippines accepts an nib care package

The packages include locally-purchased hand wash and sanitiser, as well as other healthcare necessities and mental health resources.

The University’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President Global Engagement & Partnerships, Professor Kevin Hall, said it was a crucial time for Newcastle to be a place of comfort and belonging for our international guests.

“Moving to a new place can be an overwhelming experience for anyone, so we recognise the additional stress on those students who may be away from support networks in a different country during the pandemic,” Professor Hall said.

“Our international students make a huge contribution to our University and we’re working hard to ensure they feel connected during this time. This thoughtful gesture will help keep our students safe and remind them that other leaders in our community are also thinking of them and their welfare.”

Professor Hall added that nib had helped to support and nurture University of Newcastle students for well over a decade, providing work integrated learning opportunities and partnering on PhD programs, so he was not surprised at their latest offering of support for students impacted by COVID-19.

“One of the truly inspiring outcomes as a result of this period is the outpouring of support from our partners, who have been eager to get involved in the University’s efforts. Our strong relationship with nib meant they were eager to help – we’re incredibly grateful for their support.”

nib Managing Director, Mark Fitzgibbon, said the care packages are a small contribution to support the ongoing health and hygiene of students experiencing hardship during this difficult time.

“Now more than ever it’s important that the community keep themselves safe and healthy, and given our strong relationship with the University we’re fortunate to be in a position to provide a helping hand in keeping students healthy and connected at this time,” he said.

The nib care packages mark the latest effort in the University’s work to ease COVID-19 related hardship on its students and are part of nib’s COVID-19 member and community support package.

Last month, the University announced a Student Hardship Fund focused on supporting a range of student emergency needs – from helping pay bills, to funding meals, to assisting with accommodation.

Any student in need of assistance can find more information here

Anyone in a position to donate can find out more here

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