La Trobe supports disadvantaged students

A Somalian refugee student has received a residential scholarship at La Trobe University designed to help students from educational or culturally disadvantaged backgrounds.

Abdihakim Sharif - residential scholarship recipient

With a VCE ENTER score of 90.55, Abdihakim Sharif is a high achieving refugee who is studying a Bachelor of Oral Health.

Disability Liaison Officer, Ms Claire Nihill, said that students with refugee status are amongst the most vulnerable people in the student population.

‘The Equality and Diversity Centre offers a support program for students who arrive in Australia as refugees or asylum seekers,’ said Ms Nihill.

‘The program is designed to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain a place at university and remain in their studies.’

Ms Nihill said students from non-English speaking backgrounds can experience significant disruption to their post compulsory education due to language barriers, restricted access to resources and lack of government support.

‘The support offered by the University can make a huge difference to the lives of these students with a refugee background,’ said Ms Nihill.

The programs and scholarships offered by the University’s Equality and Diversity Centre encourage refugees and students from a disadvantaged background to aspire to higher education.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161