Scholarships entice students to Border

Seventeen students studying at La Trobe’s Albury-Wodonga campus have been awarded scholarships as part of a Federal Government push to attract more students to regional areas.

As part of the Destination Australia Program, domestic and international students receive $15,000 per year for up to four years to study in regional Australia.

Nursing student Melania Atuwaogu, who moved from the UK to Wodonga in February last year, is among the scholarship recipients.

“I was so happy to receive the scholarship – it was really unexpected, so I was quite overwhelmed. It will make things easier for me in terms of paying fees, and other study expenses,” Ms Atuwaogu said.

The mother-of-two who combines study with part-time work in disability care, said she hopes to work in a regional area after graduation.

“There’s greater demand in rural and regional areas for nurses and healthcare professionals, so I’m hoping to stay regional, where my skills are needed most,” Ms Atuwaogu said.

“I really like the Wodonga area too. We’re enjoying the parks and open space, and it’s a great place for the kids.”

La Trobe Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global and Regional, Professor Richard Speed said the scholarships are a win for both students and regional communities.

“When students study in regional areas, they develop strong connections to the people, places and lifestyle, which often makes it more attractive for them to stay after graduating,” Professor Speed said.

“With shortages across rural Australia in professions such as teaching, nursing, social work, medicine, dentistry and allied health, incentive programs like Destination Australia are vital for regional communities like Albury-Wodonga,” Professor Speed said.

La Trobe University received 94 Destination Australia Scholarships for students studying at its regional campuses. 17 of those have been awarded to students studying in Albury-Wodonga (10 in 2020 and seven in 2021).

More information on the Destination Australia Program is here.

Image (from left): Scholarship recipients Madalynn Baumanis and Melania Atuwaogu