University of Queensland opens arms to student refugees and asylum seekers

The University of Queensland will offer up to 10 scholarships annually for students from refugee or asylum seeker backgrounds, with the first intake expected in Semester 1 next year.

The UQ Refugee and Humanitarian Scholarship will provide a full tuition fee waiver and an $8,000 annual living stipend for students to pursue undergraduate or postgraduate coursework studies.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Deborah Terry AO said removing financial barriers for refugees to study at university benefitted all aspects of Australian society.

“Access to education is critical to the settlement and success of refugees and asylum seekers in our community – and their success is our country’s success,” Professor Terry said.

“Students from refugee or asylum seeker backgrounds enrich our campuses, providing diverse perspectives in our classrooms and strengthening the fabric of Australian culture, business and society.”

Professor Terry said universities should and could do more to lower the barriers that refugees face in accessing higher education.

“Refugees are some of the most vulnerable people in our community and have faced considerable hardships,” she said.

“According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, only three per cent of refugees across the world are able to participate in higher education and that number is unacceptably low.

“UQ’s Refugee and Humanitarian Scholarship demonstrates our University’s commitment to champion diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity.”

The scholarship is available to students residing in Australia who are on a Bridging Visa E, Temporary Protection Visa or a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa.

Applications are open from 4 December 2020 to 22 January 2021.

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