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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Twenty new scholarships on offer for rural people

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and La Trobe University have formed a strategic partnership to provide 20 new scholarships in 2013

January 16, 2013 12:15pm

With students in rural and regional areas less likely to attend university, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and La Trobe University have formed a strategic partnership to provide up to 20 new $36000 scholarships in 2013, to support outstanding students entering university for the first time.

The scholarships, valued at $12000 per annum over three years to cover accommodation and expenses, have been offered to school leavers who studied VCE or HSC at a school in Victoria or southern NSW. Mature aged applicants may also be considered.

Robert Johanson, chairman of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, said the scholarships would be of particular benefit to extending education programs at the university’s Melbourne and Bendigo campuses.

He said Bendigo had a proud tradition of being a premier university and learning city and the bank’s partnership with La Trobe University aimed to cement this future for quality higher education across regional Victoria and southern NSW.

‘‘Not only does it provide an option for local students to gain a university education at La Trobe campuses in Bendigo or Melbourne, it supports a strategy to extend quality higher education provision to Victorian students,’’ Mr Johanson said.

‘‘Already, Bendigo hosts La Trobe University’s top ATAR courses, such as dentistry, and the University has been confirmed as one of the nation’s leading research universities, climbing to third in Victoria in the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2012 report.

‘‘La Trobe is the top-ranked institution in the nation for research in areas such as microbiology, and equal top with just one other university in biochemistry and cell biology and veterinary sciences.’’

La Trobe University vice-chancellor Professor John Dewar said the partnership would help the University achieve important targets in its recently unveiled Future Ready: Strategic Plan 2013-2017, including increasing the number of students studying at its four regional campuses from 5470 to 7300, and increasing total university enrolments to 33000 by 2017.

He said there was growing demand from families and the community for a quality university education, but for many ntsain the region who were first in family, the obstacles could appear daunting.

Professor Dewar said the scholarships underscore La Trobe’s commitment to educating students who are the first in their family to attend university.

‘‘What is exciting about these scholarships is that they signify a deepened partnership between Australia’s leading regional bank with Victoria’s leading regional university,’’ he said.

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