Mining sector digs deep
An unprecedented level of support from the Australian mining industry has funded a record number of scholarships for any degree program in the University's 133-year history.
Forty scholarships, totalling $1,275,000, have been awarded to 56 students in the inaugural four-year Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) degree, launched in 2007.
The scholarships have been funded by generous contributions from 18 mining sector companies, as well as one private individual and the South Australian Government. Another 16 scholarships have been funded by the University itself.
Professor Peter Dowd, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences, said the level of support from industry and the State Government enabled the University to recruit 56 students in the first year - almost twice as many as expected.
"It demonstrates the importance of the mining industry to South Australia and underlines our commitment to the future of the resources industries through quality education and research," Professor Dowd said.
"Scholarships are known to make a big difference to the quality of students' educational experience because they help to take the financial pressure off students, allowing them to concentrate more on their degree.
"However, the industry support for this degree program doesn't end with scholarships. Many of the students will be offered paid holiday employment by the companies that have provided the scholarships, creating an even closer link with industry. This will provide invaluable experience for our students."
Professor Dowd said the new degree was the first step in a strategy to establish a world-leading Centre for Minerals and Energy Resources at the University of Adelaide.
Bursaries have been provided by the following companies: BHP Billiton, Minotaur Exploration Ltd, Maximus, Pepinnini, Adelaide Resources, Mithril Resources Ltd, Australasia Gold, Southern Gold, Flinders Diamonds, Oxiana, SMG Consultants, Trafford Resources, Heathgate Resources, CBH Resources, Quasar Resources Pty Ltd, Bemax Resources, Toro Energy. The State Government through Primary Industries & Resources SA (PIRSA) is the other major external supporter.■