Applications are now open for Moreton Bay Region Council equity scholarships that provide a lifeline to Year 12 students that simply cannot afford to attend university.
Mayor Peter Flannery said any local Year 12 student experiencing financial hardship who chooses to study at USC Moreton Bay can apply to receive up to $8,000 a year to help cover their tuition costs.
“Changing our region’s future isn’t just about investing in infrastructure, it’s about investing in people,” he said.
“Our new Regional Economic Development Strategy will attract new business and industries in fields like science, manufacturing, and technology; so we need to ensure we have an educated local workforce ready to fulfil the jobs of the future.
“Education is the key to evolution and I want to stop the brain drain that sees our best and brightest kids go to Brisbane or Sydney.”
Warner resident Kaitlyn Grobbelaar was one of the inaugural recipients from the $750,000 scholarship fund and says she wouldn’t have made it through 2020 without her scholarship.
“The scholarships is the only reason I was able to buy the computer equipment I needed to keep studying online from home when the COVID lockdown hit,” she said.
“I lost by job because of the coronavirus, and I couldn’t find a job anywhere, so it was great having the support of the Council.
“If you’re thinking of applying for this scholarship, just do it. That’s what I did and now I’m on my way to becoming a primary school teacher.”
Applications open from 1 September and will stay open until 30 November, ready for enrolment in 2021.
Scholarship recipients get between $32,000 - $40,000 depending on whether they study a single degree fulltime over four years or dual degrees over five years.
Head of USC Moreton Bay Professor Karen Becker praised Moreton Bay Regional Council for continuing to fund these important scholarships.
“The pandemic has presented some unique challenges for our students this year and having scholarships like these helps us support students who otherwise might have had to give up on their dreams of study because of COVID-19,” she said.
“USC Moreton Bay is working with the Council to skill up the region and address some of the long-term disadvantages that have previously prevented students from attending university.”
Mayor Flannery said Moreton Bay Region had unacceptably low tertiary education rates long before coronavirus hit.
“Just 35% of Moreton Bay school leavers attend university which troubles me, because we’ll never know how many talented and determined local kids have missed out on going to uni and the associated job opportunities simply because their families couldn’t afford for them to go,” he said.
“We have to change that statistic, which is why my fellow Councillors and I are keen to help tear down these financial barriers through our equity scholarship initiative.
“I’ve repeatedly said that I don’t want anyone falling through the cracks as we chart a course to post-COVID recovery, and this is a direct and practical way we can ensure local families benefit from our very own university campus here in Moreton Bay Region.”
USC’s Moreton Bay campus opened in February this year and by 2030 is forecast to have more than 10,000 students participating in 100 different study programs.
The USC campus is the first major development at The Mill PDA which is set to become a knowledge and innovation hub 50% larger than the Brisbane CBD.
The Mill PDA is forecast to generate 6,000 local jobs and inject $1 billion into our local economy each year.
For more information about the scholarship program and how to apply, visit https://www.usc.edu.au/study/scholarships/merit-scholarships/moreton-bay-regional-council-scholarship