Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
September 2009 Issue
Current issue (PDF) | Archive | Editorial Contact

Want a head start?


Have you ever thought it would be handy to know what university is like before you actually start your degree?

The University of Adelaide's Headstart Scholarship gives students a taste of university study while they're still completing high school.

The Headstart program, now in its eighth year, has been developed in consultation with schools to meet the needs of gifted and exceptionally motivated secondary school students who require a challenge beyond the Year 12 curriculum.

Students who take up the offer of a Headstart Scholarship are able to attend classes at university, offering them new challenges, new learning, and giving them the chance to "dip their toe in the water".

The scholarship pays for students' university tuition fees for up to one semester's workload.
Although participation in Headstart doesn't guarantee a student will be accepted into their chosen degree once they complete Year 12, if they are accepted they can count their Headstart study towards their degree.

Two students who benefited from Headstart Scholarships last year are Annie Conway and Minh Bui.

Annie, 19, originally from Woodville High School, spent her Year 12 at University Senior College. As a Headstart Scholar, she was able to study subjects in Maths, Finance and Economics for one semester at the University of Adelaide. She is now in her first year of a double degree in Maths and Finance.

"The Headstart program gave me a new direction for my studies," Annie said. "Like a lot of students I was unsure about what I wanted to do at uni, and when I studied Finance as a Headstart student I really enjoyed it.

"Doing that study with Headstart made me more confident when I enrolled at uni that I was doing the right thing."

Minh, 17, also a former Woodville High student, is now studying for a double degree in Law and Commerce. Having studied Maths as a Headstart Scholar, he found that combining university study with Year 12 enabled him to develop new skills.

"It really improved my time management skills, because I had to travel from high school to university a lot," Minh said.

"I would say that the Headstart program helped me in a number of ways. For example, the way of studying and the assessment at university is very different to high school, so it helped me to get used to that.

"Also, knowing my way around the campus a year earlier made a big difference when I started my degree."

Both students highly recommend the Headstart program for any other potential students currently studying at high school.

"Even if you do a subject that you decide you don't like, the experience alone will be important. It will make things so much easier for you when you actually start your university degree," Minh said.

For more information about the Headstart Program, email:, call +61 8 8303 8381 or visit:

Story by David Ellis

Bookmark and Share

Former Headstart Scholars  and now University of Adelaide students  Minh Bui and Annie Conway
Photo by David Ellis

Former Headstart Scholars - and now University of Adelaide students - Minh Bui and Annie Conway
Photo by David Ellis

Full Image (75.38K)

Media Contact:

Media Office
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814

For more news on the research and educational achievements of the University & our alumni read the University's bi-annual magazine, Lumen.