The case: Making the best university education accessible to all
Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and some have significant caring responsibilities. Some have also faced difficult family situations and others are the first in their family to attend university. Without financial support, some will have to stop their studies, while others would not even consider university in the first place. This is a national issue – across Australia just over 15% of university students are from low socio-economic backgrounds.
Since the establishment of an equity scholarship fund at UOW in 2008, more than 2,000 alumni, staff and the members of the wider community have funded 130 student scholarships. However this is just the tip of the iceberg; 19% of all UOW undergraduate students are from low socio-economic backgrounds this is 2% higher than the national average. In the last three years, the University has only been able to offer Transforming Futures Scholarships annually to 10 of these students. By 2021 we would like to support at least 20 new students each year through this program.
A scholarship costs just $3,000 per year for three years. They are offered to new and current domestic undergraduates at the start of each year. We will absorb all administration costs, so every gift will go directly to creating more scholarships for more brilliant students. We empower students to use the money where their need is greatest, whether on learning materials, accommodation costs or on equipment to help them boost their ambitions.
A Transforming Futures Scholarship will make a profound change to a student’s future. It will mean they can study at the University of Wollongong and experience some of the best learning and teaching in Australia. But that’s not all. It means more people, from all backgrounds, will gain the skills, knowledge and experiences to fulfil their academic potential and further their career goals. They can use their diverse perspectives and what they’ve learned here at Wollongong to make a positive contribution to society.
Our scholarship graduates
Bianca Hunt, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminology (2018)
“I believe in giving back to society and showing my children the value of helping.”
After starting her family, Bianca, decided to go to university to study criminology and psychology. She wanted to give her children something to aspire to, and also inspire them to help others. The generous support of our donors enabled Bianca to pay for books, parking and other resources essential to her studies. When her children saw that she could get support while attending university, they were surprised. “It broadened their thinking of university and the people behind the support,” she says.
Morgan Way, Bachelor of Digital Media (2012)
A scholarship helped Morgan realise his dream of a career in the film industry. It meant he could afford to live away from home for the first time, and then focus on setting the wheels in motion for his new business.
“I used the scholarship to help with equipment purchases for a film-making business with another student,” he says.
“The scholarship gave us a head start, so we could make a name for ourselves more quickly.”
His business, Way Ward Films, has now gone on to work for clients such as Cadbury, Sports Illustrated, Next Official and The Body Shop.
Our track record
From our very beginning, we have been committed to equity, fairness and social justice. We believe strongly in educational opportunity for all, regardless of background or ability to pay for essentials such as accommodation, travel or internet access. We are proud to attract students from all backgrounds. Of current domestic undergraduate students:
- 56% are from a low socio-economic background (sector average 15%)
- 2% are from regional and remote areas (sector average 22%)
- 04% identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, (sector average 1.75%)
A Transforming Futures Scholarship with us is also more than an opportunity to attend university, it’s a chance for people from all backgrounds to experience an outstanding learning environment:
- We are among the world’s best institutions for teaching excellence, receiving a Spotlight Award in the 2018 Global Teaching Excellence Award.
- We were rated Australia’s leading public university for undergraduate student experience in the 2018 Good Universities Guide.
- We were ranked the number one university in New South Wales for learning and teaching, in the Federal Government’s Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT), May 2018.
“Higher education is a gift. Think about how you have been helped or how fortunate you are in life. Then give what you can, when you can. I know each week someone is appreciating the gift of learning.”
Carol Marshman, Transforming Futures donor for over ten years
“Kathryn and I have been lucky in our lives and we wanted to give something back. I was the first in my family to go to university so I like the idea of bursaries and scholarships which can help students to achieve their own goals.”
David and Kathryn Groves, donors to the Transforming Futures Fund for over ten years
Please contact Renee Burton for more information or to discuss how you can help UOW make a difference.
Phone: 02 4221 8113