$4 million in scholarships to help disadvantaged students commencing university in 2023

28 SEPTEMBER 2022

$4 million in scholarships to help disadvantaged students commencing university in 2023

The scholarships will be used primarily to cover the costs of students’ accommodation for the first year of their studies on one of Charles Sturt’s six regional campuses.

  • More than 500 students commencing with Charles Sturt University in 2023 to be offered free on-campus accommodation
  • Scholarships to build on Charles Sturt University’s sector-leading record of providing access to higher education for disadvantaged students

More than 500 disadvantaged students will receive scholarships granting them free on-campus accommodation when they commence their studies at Charles Sturt University in 2023.

$4 million in scholarships will offer much-needed support to students from regional, rural and remote areas and low socioeconomic status backgrounds, or those who are the first in their family to attend university.

The 570 scholarships, valued at approximately $7,000 each, will support eligible students who have applied through the Charles Sturt Advantage early offer program, as well as students who apply directly and through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Charles Sturt has a proven record of providing access to higher education for disadvantaged students: in 2021, the university’s participation rates for low SES (22 per cent of all undergraduate students) and regional, rural and remote Australians (55.7 per cent) were among the highest in the Australian university sector.

Charles Sturt Vice-Chancellor Professor Renée Leon (inset) said the scholarships are further evidence of the University’s commitment to greater equity in higher education.

“For many prospective students, only their financial position prevents them from starting and completing university courses,” Professor Leon said.

“Charles Sturt University is proud of its record of opening the doors to a university education for many Australians who would otherwise go without the courses and skills they seek.”

“These scholarships are just the latest way in which Charles Sturt University is assisting regional, low SES and first-in-family students to pursue the careers of their dreams.

“Additionally, these students know that when they complete their courses, their careers will start on the right foot thanks to Charles Sturt University’s nation-leading graduate employment and income results.”

There have been 6000 applications for the Charles Sturt Advantage program for 2023, with almost 3000 acceptances of offers to-date - an increase of more than 20 per cent on last year’s figure.

Professor Leon said the scholarships granted to these students would also serve important purposes for Charles Sturt University’s campus cities - Port Macquarie, Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga and Albury-Wodonga - and regional Australia more broadly.

“Charles Sturt University’s vibrant campuses offer substantial benefits – economic and otherwise - to our local communities. They are one of the major pieces of our role as an anchor institution in regional Australia,” she said.

“Those benefits to our communities carry over beyond a student’s time at the University because around 75 per cent of Charles Sturt graduates go on to live and work in regional areas.

“This pipeline of skilled workers includes the teachers, health professionals, engineers and IT specialists of which there is a critical scarcity in regional Australia.”

The $4 million boost to help disadvantaged students comes on top of Charles Sturt’s existing scholarships commitment. In 2022 Charles Sturt offered more than 650 scholarships, valued at approximately $5.5 million. Additionally, last month it was announced that Transgrid will provide $2 million over the next seven years to support the education of 100 civil engineering students at Charles Sturt in Bathurst.

Professor Leon encouraged all current and prospective students to apply for any relevant scholarships.

These scholarships come in the wake of the Australian Government’s announcement that it will fund an additional 20,000 university places across 2023 and 2024 to tackle skills shortages and give more students from under-represented backgrounds access to higher education. Professor Leon has argued that regional universities like Charles Sturt should be prioritised in the allocation of these places, sentiments echoed by Member for Calare Andrew Gee.

Media Note:

For more information please contact Charles Sturt Media Manager Dave Neil on 0407 332 718 or at dneil@csu.edu.au

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