Students of Southern Cross University have access to support services which, among others, inform them of their work rights while pursuing their studies.
International students are allowed to work part time for 20 hours a week while attending classes and 40 hours a week during term breaks to help defray the cost of living. Among Southern Cross University’s three campus locations, the cost of living in Perth came out the lowest as of 2 March 2019, and estimated to be 11% cheaper than that of Melbourne and 18% cheaper than Sydney.
The national minimum wage, according to the Fair Work Ombudsman, is $18.93 per hour for permanent full-time employees working 38 ordinary hours per week who are not covered by an enterprise agreement or a modern award. This is based on the 2018 Wage Order which took effect 1 July 2018 and ends on 30 June 2019 pending annual review.
Southern Cross University is in the top 250 universities worldwide under 50 years old, as cited by the Times Higher Education.
Support services for SCU’s international students
Southern Cross University’s Melbourne, Perth and Sydney campuses have smaller class sizes compared to other universities in their respective locations. This facilitates for easier communication and greater accessibility to staff support. Students can readily avail of the services of the university’s diverse teams.
International student Johnny Gong best sums up the advantage of being in a smaller university campus dedicated to international students. “I used to be in a university where there was a big class and there was no connection with the teacher while here [at Southern Cross University], there’s probably one class with only 10 or 20 students and the teacher will give you advice depending on your cultural background, language background and major [degree program] background.”
The university staff in each of the campuses provide a two-pronged support and safety network, which consists of the Academic Support Team and the Student Support Team, for all students especially in the area of counseling.
Among the services available to students while on campus are (1) counseling, (2) bilingual support and subject tutoring, (3) coaching on how to prepare a resume and apply for a job, (4) training for academic and career development and even (5) helping with accommodation options.
Southern Cross University is committed to its students’ overall mental and emotional well-being. Thus, they are encouraged to seek advice in instances where they feel that they’re encountering issues with their studies including financial concerns such as underpayment of their wages, among others.
Recent news reports revealed that more than a billion dollars in wages are owed to underpaid international students and backpackers based on a study of their working conditions last year. Most of the wages have never been recovered because the parties concerned are afraid to come out in the open. They often fail to report their circumstances to the Fair Work Ombudsman for fear of losing their jobs and not getting a reference for the next one.