Student Emergency Fund

Our students need your support to continue their studies and safeguard their future.

Unexpected events that cause significant financial difficulty, such as personal hardship (e.g. illness or injury), natural disaster (e.g. drought or bushfire) or a global crisis are experienced by many of our students. 

Each year, the University and the Adelaide University Union receive countless enquiries and applications for financial aid from students who do not know how they are going to continue to study during times of crisis. 

Support students in crisis

With so many students experiencing financial stress each year, we need the help of our community today.

Give now

Image of female wine researcher standing in a vineyard

PhD in Agriculture candidate Natalia, made an application to the Student Emergency Fund after realising she could no longer postpone the shoulder stabilisation surgery she so desperately needed.

“My shoulder was popping out of the socket almost daily which made my ligaments really loose,” Natalia said. “I was suffering a lot.”

“I met the University’s Education and Welfare Officer at a postgraduate student event and, after hearing my situation, she urged me to apply for financial help through the Student Emergency Fund.”

With this encouragement, Natalia applied for and received emergency funding from the University, enabled by generous donors like you who support the program.

I am extremely grateful to receive the Student Emergency Fund grant. It enabled me to finally receive the medical care I had previously put off for months.”Natalia

“I received $1000 through the Fund which helped to pay the hospital gap. I was so relieved, and booked in my surgery immediately,” she said.

"I want to deeply thank you and all the donors to this Fund. Your donations can change a person’s life in so many ways. In my case, it helped me with a serious health issue that, in the past, I had to postpone because of the extreme costs of accessing medical care. Accessing this fund was vital for me, so that I could continue my studies,” Natalia said. 

Nishadi, Student Emergency Fund recipient

Nishadi had just moved to Australia last year to complete her PhD in Medicine when her father was suddenly admitted to the ICU in Sri Lanka and unexpectantly passed away at the age of 57.

“Prior to being admitted to the ICU he had not been unwell, so it was a huge shock to our family," Nishadi said.

It was a very difficult period both emotionally and financially. I had to borrow some money to cover some of the unexpected travel costs of flying home to see my family and attend the funeral. The air travel alone cost me $5800 but a Student Emergency Fund grant of $1200 helped to ease some of the financial burden during the hardest period in my life. I am extremely thankful for the support I received.Nishadi

Undertaking a joint PhD with the University of Nottingham, Nishadi is passionate about her research which is aimed to promote healthy ageing.

“My PhD project is dedicated to identifying some interventions to improve brain and muscle function. The overarching goal of my PhD is to evaluate the changes in the nervous system in older adults following different interventions,” she said.

“I have been under a lot of stress amidst the extreme grief following my dad’s demise. Life is never the same without him. He had been my biggest strength and motivation throughout my life and studies. Dad was the one I looked up to and I am simply here pursuing my PhD owing to his encouraging words and continuous support. I am trying my best to complete my PhD well to make my loving dad in heaven prouder.”

“Thank you to the donors to the Student Emergency Fund. This resource is invaluable to students like me who are dedicated to their studies but find themselves in difficult circumstances,” Nishadi said.

Thank you to the donors to the Student Emergency Fund. This resource is invaluable to students like me who are dedicated to their studies but find themselves in difficult circumstances.Nishadi
Elaine, Student Emergency Fund donor

Through her own personal experience, Elaine recognised the challenges facing students and the incredible benefit a student grant can have, and wanted to help. As a self-funded student completing her Diploma of Occupational Therapy (London School of Occupational Therapy) in the UK in the 1970s, expenses that seemed insignificant to some, like the cost of student fees, textbooks, and daily travelling costs, were overwhelming. Faced with financial hardship, a student grant made an enormous difference to Elaine, who went on to have a successful and fulfilling career in occupational therapy.

When Elaine read about the Student Emergency Fund, she didn’t hesitate to pay forward the kindness she had received as a student. Her generosity is helping to ensure our students can continue to pursue tertiary education, even when hardship seems beyond measure.

“You never know what life will bring, including unexpected challenges that can weigh heavily on young people as they start out at university. Donations, big and small, help somebody when they need it most.” Elaine

Student Emergency Fund Appeal

To ensure our students are supported during challenging times, the University has established a Student Emergency Fund.

Our program of hardship grants will ensure University of Adelaide students are safely housed, fed and well-equipped.

Your gift, no matter how big or small, will be delivered to our students in need, helping them to continue their studies knowing they are supported to achieve their best, in every way.

 Give now (within Australia)  Give now (international gifts)

The Student Emergency Fund provides students with the opportunity to apply for assistance to cover their critical needs (e.g. rent, food, medications, textbooks) during their time of hardship. 

If you are able to make a gift, your generosity, no matter how big or small, will have a direct impact on the lives of our students. Make your gift online today.

$200 gift

Can help a student with utility expenses for a month.

$400 gift

Can help a student with groceries for a month.

$1000 gift

Can help a student with rent for a month.

Please note that costings are approximate and have been provided by Study Adelaide.

Give now (within Australia)  Give now (international gifts)

University of Adelaide staff delivering teaching, research and support at the coal-face know first-hand the financial hardships our students face, and they are deeply invested in their welfare.

Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President

While our staff make a difference every day, many also choose to extend this impact by supporting students in crisis or donating to another area of the University they are passionate about, such as scholarships or research. 

“I am deeply grateful for our staff, who demonstrate the value they place in students and our University support networks by giving to the Student Emergency Fund.”Professor Peter Høj AC, Vice-Chancellor and President

Give now (within Australia)  Give now (international gifts)

Students who are eligible for the Student Emergency Fund Grant can apply now.

More Student Emergency Fund recipients

Overcoming adversity to nurse the community to health

Last year, against all odds, Bachelor of Nursing student Georgia celebrated with her peers as they finished the final class of their degree. Only months earlier, Georgia was experiencing extreme financial hardship, questioning how she could keep her finances afloat while studying.

Read more about Overcoming adversity to nurse the community to health

Help to "shoulder the burden"

Being an international student can be exciting unless, like University of Adelaide PhD in Agriculture candidate Natalia Caliani, you are faced with a medical emergency and the extreme costs of accessing hospital care in a foreign country.

Read more about Help to "shoulder the burden"

A balancing act

Balancing the responsibilities and busy schedule of being the full-time carer for her 10-year-old son who has disabilities, while also managing her own health conditions, and studying a PhD in Psychology, has meant Stacey is unable to undertake paid work to support her studies. 

Read more about A balancing act

More information

For a discussion about how your gift can make a difference at the University, please contact Advancement on +61 8 8313 5800 or