Bendigo students awarded scholarships

Twenty regional and rural students who may otherwise not have been able to attend university will now do so thanks to a collaborative venture between Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and La Trobe University.

Professor Hal Swerissen, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Regional, and Mr Scott Elkington, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Head of Community Solutions and Partnering at the official launch of the scholarships in January.The strategic partnership between the two organisations is providing $36,000 ($12,000 each year for three years) to 20 students from regional and rural locations to study at La Trobe University.

La Trobe University’s Bendigo Campus Director, Andrew Skewes is delighted that 10 of the 20 scholarship recipients have chosen to study at the Bendigo Campus.
‘Ten students who will receive scholarships have chosen Bendigo to study courses in paramedicine (2), health sciences, occupational therapy, education, graphic design, pharmacy, dentistry (2) and physiotherapy,’ said Mr Skewes.
Three of the students are from the Mallee region, three from northern Victoria and one each from Central Victoria, West Gippsland and the Riverina.
Mr Skewes said that this important partnership will help redress the under-representation of rural and regional students undertaking tertiary education.
‘The prospect of higher education can be daunting for someone who, for a number of reasons, may be the first in their family to go to university. This initiative addresses any financial deterrents that may otherwise have prevented them from studying,’ said Mr Skewes.
‘La Trobe University already educates the greatest number of rural Victorians in higher education. These scholarships underscore the University’s commitment to support students from rural and regional locations and increase the number and range of quality programs on offer to regional Victorians.’
Research consistently shows that the majority of students who study in regional locations will stay in the regions when they graduate.
Mr Skewes said Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has recognised the need to involve and engage communities in solving the problems of banking services and capital retention.
‘This important partnership is vital for the future sustainability of regional and rural Australia. Local education and development of regional human capital will provide the local skills and leadership essential to thriving communities.
‘Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, through its community-based banking, has already demonstrated a strong commitment to regional Australia. This partnership signifies a deepening relationship between Australia’s leading regional bank with Victoria’s leading regional university.’
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