Swinburne continues to offer Welcome Scholarships, giving refugees and asylum seekers holding a Bridging Visa E, Temporary Protection Visa or Safe Haven Enterprise Visa access to tertiary education in Australia without the burden of tuition fees.
Holders of these visas can face uncertainty regarding study, as well as added complexities surrounding work rights and eligibility to receive government income support.
The scholarships were established in 2017 and proved to be a success, with intake numbers increasing for 2018.
The scholarships are offered for places in undergraduate courses, Foundation/UniLink Diplomas, Diplomas/Advanced Diplomas and Certificate level courses and have had acceptances from new students in each for 2018.
Dr Andrew Smith, Vice-President (Students) says the scholarships are an opportunity to provide tertiary education to more students.
"We’re proud to be offering these scholarships, giving refugees and asylum seekers the chance to enhance their skills and gain a qualification, without the stress of financial burdens," Dr Smith says.
“At Swinburne, we believe in the inclusiveness of further education and value being a dual-sector university, offering genuine pathways for students of all backgrounds."
Originally from Afghanistan, Bismillah Hakimi came to Australia in 2013 to escape persecution and violence.
Arriving in the country on his own as a teenager, Bismillah faced several challenges including finding somewhere to live, a job, and completing VCE, all the while learning English.
For Mr Hakimi, the Swinburne Welcome Scholarship has allowed him to begin his tertiary education, an option which is usually far out of reach for many refugees and all asylum seekers.
“Since I was a kid, I always wondered how businesses can start on a small scale and grow and become capable of helping people all over the world,” Mr Hakimi says.
Mr Hakimi is now enrolled in a Bachelor of Business.
“The Welcome Scholarship means the world to me. It is helping me achieve my goal,” he says.
For more information about the Swinburne Welcome Scholarships please, contact Susan Oldham, Refugee & Asylum Seeker Project Coordinator.
You can support students like Bismillah by making a donation through Swinburne’s Giving program.