The new service will be delivered in partnership with leading assistance company, Mondial Assistance Australia, and is a first for the higher education sector in Western Australia.
Professor Gary Martin, Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor of Murdoch University, said the university was passionate about caring for the welfare of all their students but recognised that international students, in particular, lack immediate familiar support structures as their families and loved ones are far away.
“Being far from home, in a foreign country with a different culture and without the security of family and friends can often be overwhelming for overseas students in Australia. Introducing an after-hours Student Assistance Line means that our international students will be able to talk to someone when required – even when they are off campus,” Professor Martin said.
“We see the hotline as an extension of the existing support services already in place at the university. So instead of having to wait for our doors to open, students will now have access to a 24-hour toll-free number that they can call when they need help.”
Mondial Assistance CEO, Dr Brett Robinson, said the Student Assistance Line is supported by a team of contact centre professionals who are specifically trained in handling the types of personal concerns and information that international students seek.
“Everything about the hotline – from the way it is promoted on campus to the way our team answers phone calls – is about a Murdoch University experience. And we are able to report back daily to the university to allow them to follow-up any issues that have arisen overnight or on the weekend,” Dr Robinson said.
“We will provide professional call centre support based on Murdoch University’s specific requirements to ensure students will be quickly linked into the support service they need whether that is practical, personal or medical-related. This is about achieving the best possible outcome for the student.
“The Student Assistance Line is a first for the international education sector in Australia and we believe that institutions such as Murdoch University will be able to establish a much clearer picture of the critical needs of international students in Australia and where, as a country and as a sector, we need to build capacity to meet those needs.
“And because the service will be delivered in the Murdoch University brand, students will feel they are dealing with their own education institution at all times. That, I believe, is a key strength of the initiative.”