The first recipients of Victoria University's new Achievement Scholarships were welcomed to university life at a breakfast hosted by Vice Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Harman on 17 March 2010.
The program of merit-based scholarships is unique in Australia for offering two scholarships for each of the government and private secondary schools in Melbourne's western suburbs. Each school in Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Valley and Wyndham is offered one scholarship for an undergraduate degree student, and one for a vocational education student.
Sixty students were selected in 2010 as the highest achieving Year 12 students from their schools to apply to VU. Higher education scholarship winners receive $5000 a year for up to four years, and vocational educational students, $2000 a year for up to two years.
Vice Chancellor Professor Harman said this first group of students were the pioneers in what will be a long procession of Achievement Scholars at VU.
"You have already demonstrated a commitment to your education and have been assessed by your schools as high achievers," she said. "We hope you will continue to succeed and excel in your studies at university and then say at the end of your time with us: 'someone helped me to get an education and I want to do the same for someone else'."
The new students are enrolled across every faculty and at every campus - 41 in higher education courses and 25 in vocational courses.
Professor Harman said that of particular note were the 13 recipients who had chosen to undertake teacher education courses, helping VU make a good start on its goal to be a major educator of the future workforce for the region.
The scholarship program is supported by fundraising undertaken by the Victoria University Foundation. The Western Bulldogs AFL team has agreed to commit $1 from every member every year (around $28,000 in 2009) to help fund the program. VU staff can also contribute a portion of their salaries to support the scholarships.
The VU Achievement Scholarships are additional to a maximum of 500 Equity Scholarships that the University already offers to disadvantaged students in Melbourne's west.
Ann Marie Angebrandt, Media Officer, Marketing & Communications Department, Victoria University Ph: (03)9919 5487; mobile: 0403 556 001