No obstacles for VC's scholars
Two promising University of Adelaide students are this year's recipients of the prestigious Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships.
Funded entirely from donations from alumni and the University community, the scholarships support outstanding students who experience geographic and/or financial disadvantage for the duration of their degree.
This year's recipients, Kathryn Grocke and Peter Pham, bring the total number of students at the University of Adelaide currently supported by Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships to nine - a figure that pleases the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha.
"Since it began in 2003, we have offered 18 Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships to worthy students who have been faced with financial obstacles to study," he said in launching the 2011 Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship Funds Appeal.
"Nine of these students are still studying their undergraduate degrees at the University, and next year this number will rise to 11.
"We want the best and brightest students to attend the University of Adelaide and the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships give these students the opportunity to do this, regardless of their backgrounds."
First-year medical student Kathryn Grocke grew up on her family's fourth-generation farm north of Adelaide and attended Faith Lutheran School in Tanunda.
She described her Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship as a huge support during her first year at university.
"Relocating to the city is a big move for most country students and having the backing of a VC's Scholarship has made the experience much less daunting," she said.
"It has enabled me to settle into uni and focus on my studies by removing some of the worry about financing accommodation, textbooks, lab coats and stethoscopes."
Kathryn is keen, at this stage, to return to a rural community to practice medicine after completing her degree.
"To me, studying medicine offers the right balance of head and heart - it has both the intricacies of science and the opportunity to work compassionately with people and improve their quality of life," she said.
Peter Pham is studying a double degree in Mechatronic Engineering and Maths & Computer Science at the University of Adelaide.
The former Christian Brothers College student hopes to pursue a career working with robots and has no doubts that the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship has given his university studies - and career - a significant boost.
"Receiving the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship has had a great impact on my life," Peter said.
"It is nice to not have to worry about uni fees, and my parents are also very proud and thankful."
Peter is from a non-English speaking family, with both his parents caring full-time for his seriously ill sister.
"This scholarship has helped me and my family immensely, and we are sincerely thankful for the generosity shown to us through the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship Appeal," he said.
Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships are valued at $5000 per year for the program of study. Recipients are selected on academic merit and financial need, with at least one scholarship each year awarded to a student from a rural or remote area.
To find out more about the 2011 Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships Appeal, or to make a donation, visit: www.alumni.adelaide.edu.au/vcs_appeal
Story by Ben Osborne