Big win for La Trobe University students

Rural health buildings with studentsThe scholarships, valued at $12,000 per annum over three years to cover accommodation and expenses, have been offered to school leavers who studied VCE or HSC at a school in Victoria or southern New South Wales. Mature aged applicants may also be considered.

Mr Robert Johanson, Chairman of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, said that the scholarships would be of particular benefit to extending education programs at the University’s Melbourne and Bendigo campuses.

‘Bendigo has a proud tradition of being a premier university and learning city and the Bank’s partnership with La Trobe University seeks to cement this future for quality higher education across regional Victoria and southern NSW.
‘Not only does it provide an option for local students to gain a university education at La Trobe campuses in Bendigo or Melbourne, it supports a strategy to extend quality higher education provision to Victorian students,’ said Mr Johanson.

Already, Bendigo hosts La Trobe University’s top ATAR courses, such as Dentistry, and the University has been confirmed as one of the nation’s leading research universities, climbing to third in Victoria in the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2012 report. La Trobe is the top-ranked institution in the nation for research in areas such as Microbiology and equal top, with just one other university, in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and Veterinary Sciences.

‘This strategic partnership between two of regional Victoria’s largest employers and community institutional leaders, establishes a scholarship agreement with La Trobe University as one way in which the Bank can support our communities in developing the next generation of leaders.’

Professor John Dewar Vice-Chancellor, La Trobe University, said that this partnership will help the University achieve important targets in its recently unveiled Future Ready: Strategic Plan 2013- 2017, including increasing the number of students studying at its four regional campuses from 5470 students to 7300, and increasing total University enrolments to 33,000 by 2017.

‘These scholarships target students from areas in which the Bank and La Trobe have a deep interest. We want our communities to succeed and want the students from these communities to succeed. We know that these groups are among the most seriously under-represented of all students attending university in Australia, and this is something we want to address through our partnership.

‘The further we travel from major cities the less likely we are to find people with higher education degrees. In 2006, 27% of people aged 25-64 who lived in major cities held a Bachelor degree or above. This figure declined to 15% for Australians living in inner regional areas, to 13% for outer regional areas and down to only 10% for very remote areas.
‘There is growing demand from families and the community for a quality university education but for many in the regions who are first in family the obstacles can appear daunting.’

Professor Dewar said that the scholarships underscore La Trobe’s commitment to educating students who are the first in their family to attend university, a program highlighted in the recently launched University strategic plan, Future Ready, 2013-2017.

‘What is exciting about these scholarships is that they signify a deepened partnership between Australia’s leading regional bank with Victoria’s leading regional university with a strong presence in regional Victoria and Melbourne’s north. We will extend this relationship to develop community-based solutions to a number of opportunities and challenges. We are proud that both of our organisations are committed to this game changing partnership that is improving access to higher education in, and for, our communities.’

Interview and photo opportunity

What: La Trobe University Pro Vice-Chancellor, Regional, Professor Hal Swerissen and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Head of Community Solutions and Partnering, Mr Scott Elkington will officially launch the scholarships
When: 10 am, Thursday 10 January 2013
Where: Entrance to Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, The Bendigo Centre, High Street, Bendigo

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