It targets students who are the first in their family to attend university, come from rural or remote areas or are from low income, Indigenous or refugee families.
The donation creates the Leadership, Excellence and Diversity (LEAD) Scholarship which will help up to 15 students from UQ’s TC Beirne School of Law from 2017.
Scholars, who have to secure a place on the law program through the normal Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre process, will get $7,000 each every year for up to five years.
“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,” said UQef fund chair David Goffage.
The UQef is a private fund established in 2008 after Wotif.com founders and UQ alumni Graeme Wood and Andrew Brice committed about $18 million to its launch.
School head and Dean of Law Professor Sarah Derrington said that the program which assists underprivileged students undertaking a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree alleviates to some extent the imperative to work to survive.
“One of the major hurdles for financially disadvantaged students is the cost of living while undertaking a full-time degree,” she said.
Apart from the cash grant, recipients will also benefit from priority access to internship opportunities, access to academic and tutorial assistance through UQ residential colleges and professional networking opportunities, Derrington said.
The dean also noted that UQ is hard at work to position TC Beirne School of Law as Autralia’s leading law school.
“We will not achieve this without ensuring our student population includes those from educationally disadvantaged and culturally diverse backgrounds,” she said.
She hopes that the initiative of the UQef will spur other organisations and private citizens to maintain the scholarship.