UTS and the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) have announced a partnership that will create a scholarship that provides eligible Indigenous students with accommodation at a UTS Housing Service residence and a living allowance.
Commencing later in 2016, the initiative will support Indigenous students to excel and make a successful transition from study to careers through the AIEF Pathways Program, which also links students to tutoring and services from the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning.
AIEF Executive Director Andrew Penfold AM believes the scholarship will ensure Indigenous students wishing to pursue their education at UTS are not denied the opportunity. "Our partnership with UTS will remove financial barriers that can discourage students from enrolling, or lead to students withdrawing from their course."
A UTS Luminary and winner of the UTS Chancellor's Award for Excellence 2013, Penfold has been engaged in charitable causes since 2002.
Formerly a Hong Kong-based investment banker, he established a trust fund for friends and others who fell victim to the Bali bombings that year. He subsequently left his banking job to raise funds as a full-time volunteer to support Indigenous students at St Joseph's College, his alma mater in Hunters Hill.
The establishment of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation was the result of that success; funds raised by the foundation currently support hundreds of Indigenous children studying in schools across the country.
Penfold believes the benefits of the partnership will reach far beyond the removal of barriers to education. "By enabling students to live on campus and access support through the AIEF Pathways Program – on top of the fantastic support Indigenous students receive from Jumbunna – the scholarships will empower students to make the most of their time at university and prepare to embark on a fulfilling career."
Indigenous education is deeply integrated into every aspect of education at UTS. The Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning has long nurtured future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander thinkers, creators and leaders through academic and cultural support, scholarships and programs.
2015 saw growth and success in areas such as facilitating mature age and regional access to the university for Aboriginal health workers; undergraduate study applications and Indigenous employment at the university are on the rise. The AIEF Scholarship continues the University's tradition and vision of social justice and equity.
"This is a very significant contribution to UTS and in particular to Indigenous students, many of whom find the securing of accommodation and meeting the costs of living a significant barrier to considering university study," says Professor Michael McDaniel, Director of Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning.
"This is often the case for students wishing to study in Sydney, and I believe this scholarship opportunity will make a world of difference."
For more information about the scholarship, visit aief.com.au.
For more information on supporting UTS teaching, research and student opportunity visit UTS Giving.