The University of Sydney will offer three new scholarships in 2018 for undergraduate students studying science, engineering, IT or business, thanks to a $125,000 donation from the Western Union Foundation.
Applications are now open for the Western Union Foundation Scholarships for 2018, which will support three students over three years of study. The scholarships, valued at $7000 a year, will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and financial need, with preference given to students from Indigenous or refugee backgrounds. Successful applicants must also demonstrate an interest in using their education and skills to make a positive impact on society.
The Western Union Foundation is the charitable arm of the American financial services and communications company. It has committed more than US$77 million to education programs and causes around the world. The foundation’s executive director, Elizabeth Roscoe, said the gift was motivated by a belief that education is one of the surest pathways to economic opportunity.
These scholarships will help put a university education within reach for in-need students.
“For many students – particularly those in a period of transition, like refugees and other migrants – a university education can be unaffordable,” she said. “These scholarships will help put a university education within reach for in-need students – and help improve their job opportunities and increase their earning potential once they graduate.”
Western Union President and Chief Executive Officer, Hikmet Ersek, joined the company's head of Australia and New Zealand, Mark Davis, to present the gift to Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence.
“The University of Sydney and Western Union have a strong relationship spanning many years," said Davis. "These scholarships link with the Foundation’s mission to enhance economic opportunity through education for needs-based students, for migrants coming to Australia and the Indigenous student community at our top-tier universities.”
Of the thousands of refugees resettled in Australia every year, roughly two-thirds are aged under 30, with many aspiring to tertiary education. But refugee students can face significant challenges when it comes to succeeding at university. Scholarships are a crucial form of financial support, giving students the freedom to focus on their studies.
Applications for next year’s scholarships close on 31 January, 2018. A further three scholarships will be offered in 2019.