University of Wollongong’s Statement of Commitment to Financial Wellbeing

University of Wollongong’s Statement of Commitment to Financial Wellbeing

The FIAP Team congratulates UOW on its progress toward improved financial wellbeing for its staff, students, and community. In March 2024, UOW committed to developing its first ‘Foundation’ Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) by signing a Statement of Commitment and running its first Workshop with stakeholders.

A FIAP is a public set of practical actions organisations can develop to improve the economic security and financial capability, and understand and respond to the financial vulnerability of its stakeholders. In times of increasing financial hardship, the final Universities Accord report, published in February 2024, called on Australian universities to improve equity of access to higher education and help students complete their studies so that Australia maintains enough skilled workers into the future. Financial insecurity is a major hurdle for students in completing higher education. UOW’s commitment to developing a FIAP represents an opportunity to address this challenge.

UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Life) Senior Professor Eileen McLaughlin had the following to say about UOW’s reasons for taking action to address financial wellbeing:

Cost of living is having an immense impact on students, many of whom are juggling the necessities of work with their studies, and often family obligations, just to make ends meet.

Many of our students come from low socioeconomic backgrounds and do not have a financial safety net. We are committed to reducing the systemic barriers to full participation in higher education and embracing the richness of our diverse student and staff cohort.

Staff, too, are feeling the burden of the cost-of-living crisis. As an institution, we want to do all we can to ensure that students and staff have all the tools they need to develop strong financial literacy and economic security and provide them with the support services to help in tough times.

We know that higher education can be fundamental to breaking down economic barriers. The Financial Inclusion Action Plan will improve the financial inclusion of everyone at UOW and help to address the systemic economic issues that our students are facing. We are proud to join with Good Shepherd on this worthy initiative.

Click here to read the rest of UOW’s media release.

We look forward to working with UOW in developing its first set of actions and welcome UOW to the FIAP network