NEW Rural Sustainability Scholarships

9 September 2009

Australia's rural sector is at a turning point, prompting the University of Sydney to offer 25 scholarships for degrees in sustainable natural and agricultural systems to rural and regional New South Wales residents.

Each scholarship will cover tuition fees for a degree with a focus on sustainability. Scholarships are worth $10,000 over three years.

"The economy and the environment have changed dramatically, putting the rural sector in the most straitened circumstances it has faced for some time," says Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Dean Mark Adams.

"Droughts, bush fires and the prospect of bearing the cost of greenhouse gas emissions have put huge financial pressure on many in regional and rural NSW.

"Farmers now have to consider food security, water security and carbon emissions as part of their business proposition. Similarly, managers of public land must now take water and carbon much more seriously than they have in the past. We are committed to helping the sector move towards sustainable practice and to bearing some of the costs required to successfully make this transition.

"The best way to do this is to pass on the research and expertise we've developed to those who can put it into practice a few years down the track.

"However, the current economic climate puts studying in Sydney beyond the reach of many students outside of the city.

"These scholarships affirm our commitment to sustainability as the way ahead for Australia, while recognising the encumbrances in achieving it."

Professor Adams says the scholarships lend themselves to studying the Environmental Systems degree but can also include those wishing to enrol in Agricultural Science, and Agricultural and Resource Economics degrees.

"Whatever field they focus on, students will leave the university with a better understanding of how to manage land for the challenges ahead with the likes of carbon sequestering in soil and prescribed fire," he says.

He says students will need to have a passion for sustainability for example the carbon water food debate or climate change.

The scholarships will be available for study commencing in 2010. For further enquiries please click on how to apply.

Contact: Ms Robyn Turner

Phone: 02 8627 1003

Email: 05062733385e173f102f22331305324d527f36071b4f2612