Scholarships make a difference
The University of Adelaide has awarded $2.3 million in scholarships to more than 170 new students this year.
The scholarships are aimed at supporting the best students, including those from rural or disadvantaged backgrounds.
"We are committed to giving able students real opportunities to succeed," said the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha.
"This year our commitment to scholarships has increased by more than half a million dollars to $2.3 million, which means we are now providing vital support to more students than ever before.
"Scholarships offer a range of benefits to students. They take the financial pressure off, helping students to focus on their education. In some cases, receiving a scholarship means students don't need to get a job to support themselves while they study. They can help to pay for textbooks, a new computer, or relocation costs from country areas to the city. Scholarships also act as an incentive for students to excel in their studies."
The main scholarships provided to new undergraduate students are:
- Adelaide Undergraduate Scholarships - $10,300 per year for a maximum of four years (indexed annually), awarded to all new University of Adelaide students who receive an ATAR score of 99.95 (with no bonuses). This year, 29 of these scholarships have been awarded to new students, with a total commitment of $1.19 million over the next four years.
- the Andy Thomas Scholarship - $6000 per year for a maximum of four years, plus the cost of all Commonwealth contributions (ie, HECS fees) to a maximum of four years. The scholarship is named in honour of University of Adelaide engineering graduate and NASA astronaut Dr Andy Thomas and is offered each year to an outstanding student studying Aerospace, Mechanical or Mechatronic engineering. The total value of this scholarship is approximately $55,000 over four years.
- University of Adelaide Principals' Scholarships - $5000 to assist with education/living costs for the first year of a student's program. These scholarships are available to students who have made a significant contribution to their school and to the wider community. Students must be nominated by their school principal, and they must obtain an ATAR of 80 or greater (including bonus points). This year, 144 of these scholarships have been awarded, with a total commitment of $720,000.
David and Michael Brown, 18, (pictured above) of Beaumont, have become the first twins to both receive the University of Adelaide's prestigious Adelaide Undergraduate Scholarship in the same year.
David is studying for a double degree - Bachelor of Engineering (Civil & Structural) and Bachelor of Finance - while Michael is studying for a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery.
Having completed Year 12 at Prince Alfred College together, each of the twins knew all too well what the other was going through. "For the most part we tried to study separately, but each of us has strengths in different areas and we were able to help each other out in that way," said Michael.
Damir Duvnjak, 17, from Birkenhead, was nominated for his Adelaide Principals' Scholarship by Le Fevre High School, where he was dux for 2010.
Damir has pursued his love of computers, physics and maths to study for an Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science in High Performance Computational Physics. "I love computing, I love maths, and in this degree I've chosen everything I wanted to do. It's the kind of degree that can take you anywhere," he said. "I had put medicine as my first preference and I was offered a place in medicine, but maths and physics is so interesting to me. I think I've made the right choice to go with what I love."
Callum Agnew, 17, from Karkoo - a small, remote town north of Cummins on the Eyre Peninsula - is the 2011 winner of the prestigious Andy Thomas Scholarship.
Callum has received his scholarship for a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical & Aerospace) degree, and he is also studying for a Bachelor of Science degree, both at the University of Adelaide.
He completed his Year 12 at Cummins Area School, where he was dux of the school.
"I love physics and space and I have an interest in aviation, both the design and aerodynamics of it," said Callum.
He said winning the Andy Thomas Scholarship was a great feeling. "It's awesome. The double degree will be fairly demanding - this should make things a bit less stressful," he said.
Sarah Petrou, 18, of Salisbury North was nominated for her Adelaide Principals' Scholarship by Parafield Gardens High School, where she was dux for 2010.
She is the first person in her immediate family to study at university and has chosen the Bachelor of Psychological Science at the University of Adelaide.
"I'm very much interested in social work, in helping people, and psychology is something that really appeals to me," she said. "Child psychology in particular is something that interests me - I think that would be really rewarding."
Story by David Ellis