A new type of scholarship at Swinburne is giving students on Bridging and Temporary Protection Visas an opportunity to gain a university qualification, without the financial burden of tuition fees.
The suite of Welcome Scholarships were announced in 2016, and support refugee and asylum seeker students who are ineligible for government funding for higher education programs.
Dr Andrew Smith, Vice-President (Students) at Swinburne says the scholarships were introduced to give more students access to tertiary education.
“At Swinburne, we believe in the inclusiveness of further education and we’re proud to be a dual-sector university, offering genuine pathways for these students.”
This year, nine students have commenced their studies at Swinburne on Welcome Scholarships, across a range of courses from UniLink and diplomas through to degrees.
Areas of study include health, engineering, psychology, business and visual arts.
Engineering her own success
Amrita Kharel’s determination and a desire for a better life earned her one of Swinburne’s Welcome Scholarships for 2017.
Originally from Nepal, Ms Kharel first came to Australia with her family in 2006, fleeing a country gripped by civil war.
“When we arrived in Australia we faced many challenges, including the language barrier. Although I tried to improve my English I was always more passionate about mathematics.”
After completing her schooling, Ms Kharel decided to study a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) at Swinburne.
"I chose this area of study because when we lived in Nepal we did not have good infrastructure and sometimes there were issues with the roads. I think it is an area of study that has real impact.”
Ms Kharel says receiving a Welcome Scholarship from Swinburne has made education accessible for her, when it otherwise would not have been.
“I was so grateful and honoured to receive this scholarship – it has been life-changing. It gives me the financial support I need to get back to my studies and pursue my goals.”
There are a small number of Welcome Scholarships that may be made available for midyear intake. For more information and how to apply, contact Sue Oldham, Refugee & Asylum Seeker Project Coordinator.
You can support students like Amrita by making a donation through Swinburne’s Giving program.