Alphy Baby and Aneesha Xavier are the latest deserving recipients of the La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Scholarship – India and Sri Lanka, rewarding their academic excellence and their commitment to making a difference in their community.
The students were awarded the scholarships by Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar at an online ceremony attended by Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) Stacey Farraway and Regional Director (South Asia and Africa) Amit Malhotra.
As they commence their study journey, we spoke with Alphy and Aneesha about what they’d like to do when the international borders reopen and what they hope to achieve after they graduate.
Bringing sustainable agriculture to Sri Lanka and the world
Aneesha Xavier is a person of many talents. Back at school, she was a senior prefect and captained the school chess team – all while actively taking part in many clubs and societies.
After gaining top marks in her Advanced Level Examination, she obtained her Teaching Diploma in Speech & Drama. Still, Aneesha rates her scholarship as her greatest achievement.
‘I’ve never felt so proud. I’m so excited and grateful for this opportunity. I’m just lost for words.’
Aneesha says she loves working with numbers, and that’s what prompted her to pursue a career in the commerce industry. While researching universities, she discovered La Trobe’s Bachelor of Commerce and found it ideal for her career goals.
‘My ultimate career goal in the future is to become an entrepreneur, and I believe pursuing a commerce degree will help me achieve this.’
Aneesha is just about to start her degree and has already had a chance to explore the online space.
‘It’s not challenging because you’ve got one-one-one support. I’ve already spoken to the academic advisors, who are always helpful. Even if you have the slightest doubts, they’re there to clear it up.’
Aneesha loves to travel and can’t wait to get to Australia when the borders reopen.
‘Australia was always the number one choice because it is one of the best counties to pursue your higher education. I’m definitely looking forward to meeting new people, learning about their cultures and exploring Australia.’
When Aneesha completes her degree, she wants to use her skills back at home to help fight the challenges of food security and the depletion of natural resources.
‘Sri Lanka has a rich agricultural history. I hope to introduce the concept of smart agriculture using modern technologies into this sector. I also want to promote the concept of sustainability development because climate change is a crucial issue in today’s world.’
Using artificial intelligence to help children in need
Throughout high school, Alphy Baby was a high achiever. In his final two years, he scored full marks for all core subjects and, in 2020, was awarded the Best Outgoing Student Award.
Despite these achievements, Alphy was surprised when he found out he’d been awarded the scholarship.
‘I could not believe it. And when I told my parents, they also could not believe it. My family come from an economically disadvantaged community, so this scholarship will really help people like me. It’s like a dream come true.’
Like Aneesha, he can’t wait until the borders reopen.
‘I would like to explore and discover the beauty of Australia and learn about its multicultural society.’
Alphy starts his Bachelor of Computer Science degree shortly and wants to specialise in artificial intelligence. Looking to the future, he wants to continue onto postgraduate study before taking his newfound expertise back to India.
‘I want to invent a system that is useful for mentally and physically disabled children in their daily life. When I see how they struggle, it really makes me want to help them.’
Be rewarded for your excellence
If you’re an Indian or Sri Lankan citizen, you could be eligible to apply for the Vice-Chancellor Scholarship. You might also be eligible for other region-specific international scholarships that provide tuition fee reductions of up to 30 per cent for selected courses. These scholarships are available to all citizens of the eligible countries – regardless of where you currently live.
Discover the wide range of generous scholarships offered at La Trobe. Start your La Trobe degree online and join us on campus when borders reopen.