Applications open today for a new program to make access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for hundreds of students living in regional and remote areas across the north.
Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald encouraged students to apply for the scholarships of up to $18,000, made possible by a $24million commitment from the Liberal National Government at the last election.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for students living in regional and remote communities across the north to gain the support they need to study in fields with strong employment outcomes,” Senator Macdonald said.
“These scholarships are about making student life easier for these students, and making STEM courses more attractive study options.”
Regional and remote areas are classified according to the ABS, and eligibility for the scholarships includes those students who receive for the Regional Youth Allowance. It is estimated there are 1,200 regional and rural students across the country who would qualify.
The program has been designed to suit the needs of rural and regional students and will support flexible arrangements, including part-time and online study.
Senator Macdonald said rural women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are also being encouraged to apply, and will be prioritised through the scholarship selection process.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the scholarships will help boost the numbers of rural and regional students in STEM courses, where they have been underrepresented.
“In 2015, 25.8 per cent of 15-64 year olds lived in regional and remote areas, but represented only 19.3 per cent of STEM enrolments, Minister Birmingham said.
The scholarships will operate from 2017-18 to 2020-21, with the first round of 600 scholarships being awarded for the 2018 academic year, and a second round of 600 for 2019.
The first round of applications, which opens today, closes on 8 January, 2018.
Prospective vocational education, undergraduate and postgraduate students (Certificate IV to PhD) are also eligible to apply.
For further information and to apply, visit www.education.gov.au/rural-and-regional-enterprise-scholarships.