A $2 million donation from the University of Queensland Endowment Fund (UQef) will create opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study at UQ’s prestigious TC Beirne School of Law.
Fund chair Mr David Goffage said up to 15 students would receive the Leadership, Excellence and Diversity (LEAD) Scholarship from 2017.
Each recipient would be granted $7000 a year for up to five years, conditional upon them being granted a place in the program through the normal QTAC application process.
“It will be aimed at students from non-selective Australian state schools, rural and remote areas, low income, Indigenous or refugee families or those who are the first in their family to attend university,” Mr Goffage said.
School head and Dean of Law Professor Sarah Derrington said she hoped the vision and support of the endowment fund and business community donors would inspire further philanthropic contributions to ensure the program’s longevity.
“We are striving to position TC Beirne School of Law as Australia’s leading law school, and we will not achieve this without ensuring our student population includes those from educationally disadvantaged and culturally diverse backgrounds,” Professor Derrington said.
“One of the major hurdles for financially disadvantaged students is the cost of living while undertaking a full-time degree.
“The LEAD Scholarship will provide successful applicants with $7000 each year for up to five years, to assist towards the cost of undertaking a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), alleviating to some extent the imperative to work to survive.
“Recipients will receive priority access to valuable internship opportunities and access to academic and tutorial assistance offered through the UQ residential colleges, and professional networking opportunities.”
Professor Derrington said a reduced annual student intake and increased cut-off score requirements for undergraduate admission was part of a significant refocusing for the school to ensure a more personalised, innovative and world-leading experience for students.
A $33 million refurbishment of the school’s historic Forgan Smith building premises will create a state-of-the art teaching and research facility and is due for completion early 2017.
The UQef is a private fund that was established in 2008 by Wotif.com founders Andrew Brice and Graeme Wood.