The University of Queensland student’s journey from Indian slum to university

An Indian student who grew up in a slum in Delhi will have access to an international education thanks to The University of Queensland’s partnership with Asha – an Indian non-profit organisation which improves the lives of slum dwellers.

Amritesh Kumar Maurya has been awarded the UQ-India Equity Postgraduate Coursework Scholarship to study a Master of International Economics and Finance at UQ.

He hopes this scholarship will allow him to realise his dream of one day working for the World Bank.

“I give my heartfelt thanks to Chancellor Peter Varghese and others at The University of Queensland for giving me this wonderful opportunity,” Mr Maurya said.

“As a child at school, I would see my father working in really harsh temperatures in the school garden while I would be studying in an air-conditioned classroom.

“This made me determined to work harder.”

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship) Dr Jessica Gallagher said UQ’s partnership with Asha enabled young people in the slums of Delhi to access higher education.

“We are extremely delighted to welcome Mr Maurya to UQ under this scholarship and to reduce barriers to education around the world regardless of background,” Dr Gallagher said.

The 23-year-old first met Asha founder and director Dr Kiran Martin when she visited the Kusumpur Pahari slum where he lived with his family.

“I got the wonderful opportunity to hear Dr Martin talk about how education not only changes one’s life, but also brings a huge change to the whole community,” Mr Maurya said.

Through Asha, he was able to study a Bachelor of Commerce at Delhi University during which he undertook three internships with UK and Australian organisations.

“I cannot express in words how thankful and grateful I am to Dr Martin for making me what I am today – a child from slums who never dreamt of going to study in an international university,” Mr Maurya said.

Dr Martin said that she and everyone at Asha was thrilled at the Scholarship announcement.

“We are committed to setting up Amritesh for success and hopefully many more students will follow,” Dr Martin said.

The UQ Scholarship will cover Mr Maurya’s full tuition fees, as well as an annual living stipend of $13,000, on-campus accommodation, overseas student health cover, a book allowance per semester and $1200 towards flights home at the end of each year of the program.

 

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