University to Fund Refugee Scholarship Program

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue (WSLD) has praised the Western Sydney University (WSU) for its scholarship fund to assist refugees and called on the Government and private sector to add their support to the cause.

WSU last night confirmed that it has set aside $500,000 to create scholarships for refugees in Australia on humanitarian visas and plans to raise a total of $12m to help 400 students over the next four years through a fundraising campaign.

The scholarships valued at $7500/per year will be used for study and living expenses, and will be available to students studying across the full range of courses offered by Western Sydney University; from English-language and diploma programs at the University’s College, through to masters and PhD programs.

WSLD Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, who is also sits on the WSU Board, said that in light of the current refugee crisis, he was proud that the University, led by Chancellor, Professor Peter Shergold and Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover, were so willing to demonstrate leadership and compassion on the issue.

“The University, much like the region, is a place that has always welcomed and shown support for people of all backgrounds who choose education as their vehicle towards a better life,” Mr Brown said.

“The scholarship fund will go a long way towards providing new Australians with opportunities, providing a pathway that will benefit individuals and the wider community.

“The plight of refugees across the other side of the world has prompted a passionate response from the Australian public, and I would encourage the community, along with Government and corporate sector to contribute to the University’s fundraising campaign.”

All donations to Western Sydney University are fully tax deductible and can be made at http://www.westernsydney.edu.au/potentialunlimited.

The fund will be held in trust by the University and will be directed entirely to support eligible students from 2016.

Western Sydney University has one of the most culturally and socio-economically diverse student populations of any university in Australia. It currently has over 350 students who hold humanitarian visas, with over 80 per cent of these residing in Western Sydney.