President and Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Appeal

Student callers

Empowering the next generation

Your donation to the President and Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Scholarship Appeal is more than just financial aid. It gives talented young minds a chance to study at UNSW and the opportunity to succeed. The President and Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Scholarship supports disadvantaged students from low socio-economic backgrounds, including rural students, Indigenous Australians, students with disabilities and students experiencing hardship.

They receive $5,000 per year for the duration of their degree, paying for essentials like accommodation, food, text-books, computers, transport and other living expenses. Since 2009, over 6,900 alumni have answered the call. Their generosity has allowed us to offer over 100 scholarships to gifted students in need, 32 of whom have already graduated. In 2017 we'd like your help to offer this opportunity to another 20 UNSW students for the class of 2018.


Give the gift of opportunity to students in need

We all know education is important. 

But getting access to it isn’t always easy. Only 1% of all higher education students are indigenous, just 16% are from low social-economic homes and only 1 in 5 students are from remote areas. The President and Vice-Chancellor’s scholarship provides talented kids from disadvantaged backgrounds with a chance at a brighter future.

It was not an easy move… It was a big change culturally, coming to a bigger city, where I didn’t know anyone. I’m so grateful it (the scholarship) made all the difference to me and my family by relieving a great proportion of financial pressure.”

- Natalie Tieck, Recent Bachelor of Commerce (International) Graduate.

The problem isn’t just getting into university, but staying there

Creating more pathways and places at university for underrepresented groups is only part of the challenge.

The biggest challenge is not just getting into university, but staying there. The living expenses and study costs of attending university are considerable, worsened for those who need to move away from home to study, or those who have dependents or families reliant on their income to survive.

I have a single mum, who has supported me and my younger sister. This made it very hard to get up and move away, and to afford the cost of living and books. The Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Scholarship has helped ease the pressure and financial strain of studying

- Maggie-Kate Minogue, fifth year UNSW undergraduate medicine student.

Give back to the university that gave you a head-start

While a scholarship of $5,000 per year may not seem like much, it can be the difference between struggle and success for disadvantaged UNSW students. Your donation can give a first-year from a low income family the money to buy a computer and text books, an ambitious student the chance to focus on study instead of extra night-shifts, or an indigenous student from a remote area a ticket home for the holidays.

The scholarship has been pretty damn crucial. It’s the equivalent of not having to work an extra 10 hours per week to cover rent,”

- Fourth year engineering student Simba Kuestler holds down a part-time job as a high school tutor and is a leader of Sunswift, UNSW’s solar race car team.

How you can help

We ask you to reflect on the opportunities your UNSW education has given you since graduation. How much would you pay to give them the same opportunity to study at UNSW that you had? All donations big and small can make a difference. 


You can also give by:


Donations to UNSW of $2.00 or more are tax deductible in Australia.


About the scholarship

• Students must apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) Equity Scholarships Scheme

• The successful applicant must be entering their first year of any single or combined undergraduate degree at UNSW

• Scholarships are offered at the beginning of each year

• All applicants must be Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents

• Successful applicants will receive $5,000 per annum for the duration of their degree. 


About the UNSW ASPIRE Program

What is ASPIRE and what do they do?

ASPIRE is an outreach program that works with school students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds in schools across Sydney and regional New South Wales. Its aim is to increase their educational aspirations and help them access a university education.

Traditionally, students from low SES backgrounds have not gone to university at the same rate as students from more advantaged backgrounds. This is not because of a lack of student ability. Often it is a lack of information about university that prevents young people making informed choices about their future, as well as the absence of role models that are familiar with university processes that prevents. Misconceptions about who can access a university education are widespread. They exist among the students themselves, the wider community and universities and they have created barriers that can be difficult to overcome.

What matters in university is academic capability, but many of the students’ ASPIRE works with, initially believe that university is not for them. This is because they think that they:

  • Are not capable
  • Live too far away
  • Don't know anyone who has been to university
  • Aren’t financially well-off
  • Won’t fit in or be made to feel welcome


“This program has been life changing, I don’t think there is any other time I’m going to have an opportunity like this and it’s definitely going to help me in the future.”

- Gemma Keating, Former Student, Condobolin High School.


Why ASPIRE? What is at stake?

 Having previously being funded by the Federal Government funding, ASPIRE are now undertaking a campaign to secure the program for the future. The ASPIRE program is not only important to the individual students and their communities, but to society as a whole. We all benefit when everyone, regardless of background or circumstance, has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are generally up to 30% more likely to be unemployed, more likely to underachieve academically, and currently make up only 16% of the undergraduate university population in Australia. By supporting the ASPIRE program, you have the opportunity to help us turn this around.


“The disadvantage that our students suffer from being in a small place where there is less opportunities, where there is less on offer, and being so far away, to some extent is ameliorated by having ASPIRE come to us, and then also allowing us to go to ASPIRE in the city”

– Joan Fraser, Head Teacher Secondary Studies, Binnaway Central School


How can you help?

ASPIRE is looking to raise enough money to continue to offer meaningful opportunities for many more students into the future:

  • If 100 alumni gave $50 per month for a year we could ensure that the travel costs for over 300 of our regional students to attend on-campus workshops were secure for another year.
  • Additionally, if just 10 alumni gave a commitment of $20 per month ongoing we could ensure that one of our regional partner schools has a fully functioning Homework Centre with a fully qualified staff member to support individuals and groups with reading and numerical literacy.
  • Alternatively, a one off donation of $700 could secure a secondary school group’s attendance at our Year 10 Connect, an on-campus event.


 “Going to university, I just never thought about it. I just thought I was going to finish school and work and that was all I was going to do. Now, I want be a paediatric nurse, so I want to go to university and do my nursing degree and then hopefully maybe do other degrees while I am there.”

Brianna, Student, Ungarie Central School


Key facts:

  • There has been a 108% increase in the number of offers to university for students from ASPIRE partner schools who have been with the program since 2010.
  • ASPIRE ran 262 in-school workshops in regional NSW and metropolitan Sydney in 2016 reaching over 5,100 students.
  • ASPIRE held 13 major events in 2016 and brought more than 700 students on to the UNSW campus.
  • Since 2010 we have had over 441 students from ASPIRE partner schools enrol at UNSW with many of these now having graduated to work in the banking, law, medical, public service and education sectors.
  • Since 2010, 42 students from ASPIRE partner schools have graduated from UNSW with a Bachelor’s Degree in a range of different disciplines.
  • In 2017 a further 58 students received offers to study at UNSW.


“ASPIRE was a fantastic opportunity for me to learn about university from those who have experienced it first-hand. It was very engaging and informative. It further encouraged me that university was the right option for myself.”

Winton, ASPIRE Metro Partner School