Students receive life changing opportunity

Published 24 February 2023

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The future looks bright for Moreton Bay as the 2023 intake of University of the Sunshine Coast (UniSC) students received their Moreton Bay Regional Council Scholarships valued at $8,000 per year for the duration of their degrees.

This is the fourth year Council has offered the scholarship program to help locals experiencing financial hardship go to university, and it’s the first year Council has offered the new $2,000 Study Support Bursary to local students of any age studying an undergraduate degree.

Mayor Peter Flannery said it was a great investment into the future leaders of Moreton Bay.

“This is lifechanging for some of these students who come through the Moreton Bay Regional Council Scholarship Program,” he said.

“It’s about giving those students who might not have financial support an opportunity to take on tertiary education, and hope it will be paid back in the future with many bright and talented students staying in Moreton Bay and giving back to our wonderful community.

“Before Council partnered with UniSC to build this magnificent campus, Moreton Bay students had to leave the region to get a higher education, which meant we were losing our best and brightest to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and other parts of the country.

“Now they have one of the most modern universities in Australia to get the best education possible, with the financial support needed to be able to study successfully rather than work long hours to get by and potentially not be able to go to uni.”

UniSC Vice-Chancellor Helen Bartlett said two students who received scholarships in 2020, when the campus first opened, were due to graduate this year.

“We are so proud of their achievements and to see new recipients follow in their footsteps this year,” Professor Bartlett said.

“Each scholarship winner is an inspiration to others in Moreton Bay who might not have considered tertiary education as an option due to financial or other barriers.

“This scholarship, and the Moreton Bay campus, is genuinely changing lives, with roughly 40 percent of the 4,000 students who are currently enrolled being the first in their family to study at university level.

“Moreton Bay once had some of the lowest university attendance rates in Australia, so the growth we have seen in just three years proven that demand for locally available university education is high. 

“I congratulate everyone who received a scholarship and a bursary this year and I encourage more students to apply next year because we have seen that it can be life-changing.”