Current Issues

If you experience something you think is unfair and you’re not sure what to do, you can raise your issue anonymously with the MGA team. We’re here to campaign for your graduate student rights!

If you would like more information, or you are a Monash graduate student who would like to discuss a current issue with us, please email us at: mga@monash.edu

Here are some examples of the many and varied issues on which the MGA is currently working:

HDR stipends

Having been successful in getting the stipend rate raised to $30,000, we believe this rate needs to increase further to allow HDRs to properly support themselves.

Additionally, as many students reach the end of their research degrees, scholarship funding is running out. With this current cohort having been severely affected by Covid-19 in 2020, we are concerned that the only real additional funding for HDRs is through the GRCA (Graduate Research Completion Award). We don’t believe this is adequate enough compensation to mitigate the delays experienced by many HDRs during the pandemic.

Coursework degree fees

Graduate coursework students who undertook their degrees almost entirely under Covid-19 conditions are demanding a reduction in their fees on the basis that the educational experience that was delivered was not what was promised. While no one is holding the University personally responsible for the pandemic, we feel that the reduction in quality arising from having had to radically and quickly change their delivery of courses, is good reason for the University to provide affected students with a small refund.

Graduate students with children

After our success in having the first parenting room on Clayton campus re-established (it was removed during renovations and never replaced!), we are looking at other ways to support students who are also parents. As well as ensuring all policies support graduate parents, we would like to see a small playground on each campus so there is somewhere child-friendly to take your kids while on campus. Our big vision is to convince the University to establish an occasional childcare centre on campus, so students can drop off their kids for an hour or two while they attend a tutorial or speak with their supervisor.

If IKEA can do it, why can’t Monash?

MET concession for graduate students

Yes, this is still on our radar and one of our enthusiastic new committee members is going to give this yet another go. Victoria is the only state in Australia that doesn’t provide public transport concessions for full-time domestic graduate students. Keep your eye on our newsletter and help us get this campaign up and running again!

Some of our previous successes:

  • The introduction of an extensive welfare scheme to provide support to graduate students in financial distress;
  • The automatic provision of HDR scholarships to 3.5 years without requiring an application;
  • Reinstatement of an 8.30am shuttle bus from Caulfield to Clayton (on trial);
  • The development of a guide for graduate students identifying as queer;
  • The inclusion of unpaid domestic violence leave in all graduate and undergraduate courses;
  • The inclusion of paid domestic violence leave for all HDR scholarship recipients.

Archive

To read more about our lobbying efforts to put graduate Students’ Services and Amenities fees back in their own hands, please click on this link.

The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA)

CAPA  represents the interests of Australia’s 320,000+ graduate students. CAPA’s member organisations include the MGA and 33 other relevant associations, as well as the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Postgraduate Association (NATSIPA). As the national voice on graduate student issues, CAPA makes representations to the Federal Government, the Opposition party and higher education peak bodies. Click here to find out more about CAPA.

Got some feedback for us?

It’s important for the MGA to get feedback on your graduate student experience at Monash so we know what’s good, what’s not so good and what can be improved. The MGA is recognised by University Council as the official representative body for graduate students, which means we have the connections and authority to lobby the University on your behalf. If you have a question or concern about University policies or practices, contact us so we can resolve your immediate concern and address any systemic issues by lobbying the University for change.

Reports & Submissions

Interested to know what the MGA has been up to? Click here to browse through our recent reports and submissions to the University.