RURAL Bank has opened applications for its 2018 national scholarship program for the next generation of agricultural leaders.
This year’s program will see an increased investment in the number of scholarships available, with up to 15 tertiary scholarships of $5000 available for first-time undergraduate students eager to begin their careers in the Australian agriculture sector.
Rural Bank expects the majority of applicants will come from regional communities.
“Almost 30 per cent of Australians live in regional areas, yet they comprise fewer than 20 per cent of university enrolments,” Rural Bank managing director and chief executive Alexandra Gartmann said.
“In some instances, students who do choose to pursue further study are forced to relocate hundreds of kilometres away and are often challenged by simply meeting the cost of tertiary education, in light of adverse seasonal conditions and competing priorities on the farm.’’
People from major cities are twice as likely to hold a degree than those from regional and remote areas. In an effort to bridge this alarming educational divide, Rural Bank is targeting outstanding students who are dedicated to making a significant contribution to the agricultural sector.
“Through our scholarship program, we are able to play a role in assisting these students to pursue a rewarding career in agriculture by removing some of the barriers they face and ultimately helping to bridge the educational divide in regional Australia,” Ms Gartmann said.
The $5000 scholarship (received for the first year of study) will contribute to the costs of accommodation, travel, course materials, study equipment and tutoring.
Subject to academic performance, the scholarship funding could be extended to support their second year of study.
Apply for the 2018 Rural Bank Scholarship Program before January 29, 2018.
For more information visit www.ruralbank.com.au/scholarships