Up to 20 students who meet eligibility criteria will next year be awarded $36,000 each over three years in an initiative designed to strengthen rural communities and improve the lives of disadvantaged students.
The scholarships are being offered under a three year $2.16 million strategic scholarship partnership between La Trobe University and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.
It is the second year the scholarships have been offered. They contribute to on-campus accommodation and expenses for school leavers who studied VCE or HSC at a school in Victoria or southern New South Wales.
Kim Baker, scholarship recipient
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Chairman Robert Johanson said the scholarship program was another way the Bank was investing in young people.
‘A university degree can change lives and make a significant contribution to the prosperity of regional communities. We want to be a part of investing in a strong social, economic and cultural future for rural and regional communities,’ he said.
‘We know that high school students in rural and regional areas are less likely to attend university and we are determined to do what we can to break down the barriers to further study.’
La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said higher education participation rates were much lower in regional and rural locations compared to those in major cities and La Trobe was proud to be able to help make a difference in this area.
In 2006, 27 per cent of people aged 25-64 who lived in major cities held a Bachelor degree or above. This figure was 15 per cent for Australians living in inner regional areas, 13 per cent for outer regional areas and only 10 per cent for very remote areas.
Lucky Rabel, scholarship recipient
Professor Dewar said the scholarships demonstrated a strong undertaking by the University and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to work together to improve the lives of people living in rural and regional locations.
‘La Trobe University has more regional campuses in Victoria than any other Australian university and – much like Bendigo and Adelaide Bank - we are deeply committed to the communities that we serve,’ he said.
‘These scholarships reinforce La Trobe University’s commitment to providing access to higher education for students who are often the first in the family to undertake university studies.
‘They are also a great example of what can be done when two organisations come together in the best interests of their local communities.’
Applicants will also be asked to demonstrate engagement with their community, as well as educational or financial disadvantage. Mature aged applicants may also be considered.
Tim Mitchell, Director, Media and Communications (Acting), La Trobe University, T 03 9479 5246 M 0437 457 780 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas O’Callaghan, La Trobe University, T 03 54 447415.
Elise Snashall-Woodhams, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, T 03 5485 6230, M 0409 131 095