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Scholarships create new pathways to further study at UNSW

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At UNSW, we strive to create new and accessible pathways to higher education so that those who would thrive at our university are given the chance to do so. Scholarships are a meaningful way to ensure we are attracting the best students and researchers, and enriching the university experience.

While many people dream of pursuing a postgraduate degree, whether to gain new skills in their career of choice, or to conduct research to benefit society, the financial barriers of further study can often be a significant roadblock.

At UNSW, we strive to create new and accessible pathways to higher education so that those who would thrive at our university are given the chance to do so. Scholarships are a meaningful way to ensure we are attracting the best students and researchers, and enriching the university experience.

Whether funded by the university, or established with the generosity of the UNSW community, our postgraduate students and researchers share how a scholarship has been a life-changing opportunity for them.

Sujith Kumar Prankumar | Scientia PhD Scholarship

Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences

What is your area of work? I’m researching sexual citizenship and belonging among Lebanese, Indian and Anglo LGBTQA+ young people in Sydney. I am intensely curious about the world around me, and I have a longstanding commitment to community engagement and social inclusion, so the Scientia scholarship program ticked all the boxes.

How would you describe your scholarship experience? My experience has been an outstanding and rewarding one. Because of the financial support, I am able to devote more of my time to community engagement, while the professional development component has helped me to think critically about career planning and the impact of my work.

Why are postgrad scholarships important? Australia was not on my radar until I saw the advertised Scientia PhD project. It makes it possible for me to engage in full-time study and live in an expensive city like Sydney. Importantly, scholarships make it possible for students of diverse backgrounds to access opportunities to identify and examine important challenges and support the wellbeing of society.

Nicole Moore | Emeritus Professor

Richard Henry and Dr Rachel Oberon Indigenous Advantage MBA (Social Impact) Scholarship, AGSM

What motivated you to pursue an MBA? I was managing an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation, and wanted to improve my business skills in a way that was congruent with the not-for-profit sector - the MBAX suited perfectly. Also, as I live regionally, the ability to study online was invaluable.

How would you describe your scholarship experience? This scholarship was quite literally life changing for me. It came up not long after the organisation I worked for lost its funding and closed; regardless of what that did emotionally, financially I couldn’t afford to continue my studies. The scholarship gave me both the means and the motivation to continue.  

How will you apply the teachings from your MBA in future? I’m still active in my community in governance roles, and the learnings from the MBA are proving invaluable. Additionally, I’ve started working for the Centre for Social Impact as an educator and researcher, so I am fortunate enough to be able to give back and help skill up the next generation of leaders.

Meng-Yu Yan | Ross Steele scholarship for International Exchange

Master of Fine Arts, UNSW Art & Design

What is your area of study? I am a photomedia artist whose work focuses on creating mystical dreamscapes and haunting self-portraits in an exploration of gender, queer identity and true self

How will this scholarship support your work? I was able to expand my creative and professional horizons by travelling to Paris for a three-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts. While there, I was able to investigate a queer Taiwanese writer named Qiu Miaojin who lived and studied in Paris under Professor Helene, feminist writer and philosopher, whose writing was formative to the development of lesbian and queer culture in Taiwan.

How would you describe your experience with this scholarship? By allowing me to engage with the European art scene, to collaborate with artists from across the globe and make new connections with curators, mentors, collectors, galleries, universities and museums, receiving this scholarship has completely expanded the possibilities of my career path. I am incredibly grateful to Professor Ross Steele for this opportunity.

Jodie Kidd | Scientia PhD Scholarship

Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences

What’s your study background? I’m in the second year of my PhD, which explores how Indigenous young people’s participation in policy processes can strengthen Australian social policy. I’ve come to this research after 10 years working in youth and family services, in both the government and not-for-profit sectors. I’ve previously studied psychology and community development at UNSW.

How would you describe your scholarship experience? I feel really lucky to have this scholarship. I’ve been able to study full time, which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise, and I’ve met a lot of incredible, talented people on the Scientia program. The Scientia scholarship also offers some fantastic learning experiences, including courses in professional skills such as communication and negotiation, research skills courses, and conferences.

Why are PG scholarships important? The scholarship was the deciding factor for me leaving work and returning to full time study. For students who have established careers, this is a big decision. The financial support can make the transition easier, and offer extra development opportunities that keep you growing professionally alongside study.

Jaffly Chen | Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship

Master of Public Health/Master of Health Management, UNSW Medicine

What’s your area of interest? As a medicine student, I have a strong interest in Indigenous health and wellbeing. Through my postgraduate studies, I aspire to work as a clinician, policymaker and mentor in Australia’s innovation landscape.

How has the scholarship enhanced your work? Through this scholarship, not only do I receive financial support for my studies, a nine-month bespoke leadership development program and the opportunity to study abroad, I also gain lifelong access to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network. I appreciate Westpac’s focus on providing generous opportunities to think globally as it demonstrates a genuine understanding of the importance of collaborating with global networks to positively inform local policy making decisions.

How do you hope to apply these learnings in future? I envision a world where all sectors of the health system are more closely integrated and personalised to the individual. I want to see GPs and specialists work more closely together, and for barriers to healthcare access in rural Australia to be eliminated.

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