University of Adelaide awards $1.5 million in scholarships

Monday, 24 February 2014

The University of Adelaide today helped 114 first-year students transition into university life with $1.5 million in scholarships.

The scholarships, which are aimed at supporting the best and brightest students from across the state (and in rural Victoria, the Northern Territory and Broken Hill), were awarded at a special Scholarship Presentation Ceremony in the University's Bonython Hall.

Among this year's scholarship recipients is James Hughes from Pedare Christian College who has been awarded the prestigious Andy Thomas Scholarship, which provides an allowance of $6,000 per annum and covers tuition fees for up to four years. The Andy Thomas Scholarship is named in honour of the University of Adelaide engineering graduate and NASA astronaut.

In addition, 23 students were presented Adelaide Undergraduate Scholarships for receiving an ATAR score of 99.95 (with no bonuses). Each student will receive $11,256 per annum (indexed) for up to four years.

There were also 90 University of Adelaide Principals' Scholarship recipients recognised today, all receiving $5,000 to assist with education and living costs in their first year of study. The Principals' Scholarship recipients are nominated by their principal as students who have made a significant contribution to their school and the wider community.

University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Warren Bebbington says the scholarships program is fundamental to the University's vision and objectives.

"We want to provide the right support and incentive for our very best students to stay in South Australia and take up tertiary studies here at Adelaide," he says.

"The scholarships program provides financial assistance to help alleviate some of the barriers to university study so they can focus on their academic program and all that campus life has to offer."

Professor Bebbington says there are plans to extend the current scholarships program in the coming year.

"Under our Strategic Plan, we will double the number of scholarships for disadvantaged students by 2015; for students of ability from remote and regional areas; or from backgrounds that would otherwise prevent them aspiring to study at the University of Adelaide.

"As a former country student myself, and the first in my family to attend university, I know how vital it is to support young people as they transition from high school to further study."

James Hughes

James Hughes, who received both the Andy Thomas Scholarship and a University of Adelaide Principals' Scholarship, says the scholarships will alleviate the financial pressure associated with higher education.

"Receiving these scholarships will give me financial independence so I can concentrate on my studies without having to depend on part-time work," says James, who will be studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical and Aerospace).

Engineering seems a perfect fit for James as he enjoys the challenge of mathematics and is very interested in physics; however, it was the scholarship's namesake, Andy Thomas AO himself who inspired James to pursue a career in aerospace engineering.

"I previously wanted to pursue a career in mathematics but after I had the opportunity to meet Andy Thomas, after a talk he delivered, I was inspired to be just like him and one day work for NASA," he says.

"I understand that not many people get to work for NASA but I'll give it a go."

James says he's both excited and nervous about starting university.

"I'm interested to experience the different teaching style at university and I'm looking forward to all the opportunities on offer at the University of Adelaide."

Tylan Stanbury

Tylan Stanbury, a University of Adelaide Principals' Scholarship recipient, had a sudden change of heart just before he went on to complete year 12 at Reynella East College.

"I changed from a technical college to a mainstream high school in year 12 because I decided I wanted a career designing and producing mining equipment," he says.

"This meant I had to get use to the layout of school again and, although it was tough to adjust, I couldn't be happier now.

"Receiving this scholarship has lifted a massive weight off my shoulders. It has allowed me to worry less about how I'm going to afford my textbooks. This means that I can focus more on my studies and getting higher grades."


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