The first round of scholarships has been awarded under a Federal Government push to attract more students to study and work in 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.
La Trobe University received almost $4 million to deliver 67 scholarships at its Bendigo campus – more than any other university campus across the country. A further 27 scholarships will be delivered at its campuses in Albury-Wodonga, Mildura and Shepparton.
Dentistry student Ms Sophie Shi and paramedicine student Ms Jemma McNair are among the first six students to receive the scholarship. Of the six, four are domestic students, and two are international.
Ms Shi said that the scholarship will help with the cost of moving to Bendigo from her family home in Balwyn.
“I’m really excited about this scholarship, as it means I no longer have to rely on my parents to fund my university journey.
“It will help cover the cost of travel, food and the equipment required for my course, which will help immensely.”
Ms Shi said she was looking forward to her first time living in a regional area.
“I’m really excited about moving to the Bendigo. I’ve heard that it’s a really welcoming community where a lot of people know each other, so I think it should be a great place to live and study,” Ms Shi said.
Head of Bendigo Campus Mr Robert Stephenson said the scholarships are a welcome addition to a suite of measures the University has put in place to lift higher education participation rates in regional areas.
“These scholarships will add to the many that we already offer at La Trobe to attract students to our regional campuses, including the Regional Benefits Program, Aspire Program and many others,” Mr Stephenson said.
Applications are now open for the scholarships, for study in 2020.