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Louise Caldicott
UNSW External Communications
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UNSW today launched its Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) as part of the University’s commitment to promoting financial inclusion and resilience among students.

UNSW is the largest educational institute and first Group of Eight university to participate in the program, which was established by Good Shepherd Microfinance. The University joins 17 other trailblazer organisations launching their FIAPs today.

Talking at an executive breakfast to launch the new action plan, Professor Eileen Baldry, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Inclusion and Diversity at UNSW said: “More than two-thirds of Australian university students are anxious about their financial situation, which can have a serious impact on their success. This FIAP has been developed following extensive consultation with our students and is focused on providing more opportunities for them irrespective of their background or socio-economic status. It reflects UNSW’s desire to enhance everyone’s experience and address financial barriers to education and economic inclusion while at university and beyond.”

UNSW’s Financial Inclusion Action Plan outlines 18 actions to make a significant difference to financial exclusion in Australia. The actions are focused where they can have the greatest impact:

  • Increasing the number of scholarships for disadvantaged students
  • Expanding UNSW’s no-interest loan scheme
  • Developing a financially inclusive residential strategy
  • Building a better organisational understanding of our students and their needs
  • Emphasising an improvement in UNSW’s FIAP and extending initiatives in 2019
  • Introducing financial literacy training and support for students.

“It’s important that UNSW and the higher education sector are accessible and equitable for everyone,” said Edward Bartolo, Student & Chair of the Board, Arc - UNSW Student Life. “This [Plan] shows UNSW’s commitment to the financial inclusion of students and will make a lasting difference to the individual lives of many current and future students. It was fantastic that the student body was consulted so early in the development process and we look forward to our continuing involvement.”

Adam Mooney, CEO, Good Shepherd Microfinance, said: “UNSW has shown itself to be a leader – not just in its respective industry, but in the community more broadly. It believes it has a role to play in creating a fairer, more connected community – one where everyone benefits from inclusive economic growth.”

The FIAP is led by Good Shepherd Microfinance, on behalf of the Australian Government, in partnership with the UNSW Centre for Social Impact and EY. It was developed to create a national network of organisations, across sectors, peak bodies and governments, which are actively committed to financial inclusion in Australia.

The 18 new trailblazer organisations are: AGL; Ashurst; Australian Ethical Investment; Australian Unity; City West Water; Corrs Chambers Westgarth; Flight Centre Travel Group; Good Shepherd Microfinance; Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network Ltd (ICAN); MoneyBrilliant; Origin Energy; The Salvation Army; 10Thousand Girl; UNSW; VicSuper; Wannon Water; Women’s Referral and Information Exchange (WIRE); Yarra Valley Water.