President and Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Appeal

Student callers

Give the gift of opportunity to students in need

We all know education is important, but getting access isn’t always easy.

Only 0.8% of all undergraduate students at UNSW are indigenous, just 9.5% are from low social-economic backgrounds and only 1 in 5 are from rural or remote areas. 

As part of the 2025 Strategy, UNSW Sydney is committed to increasing access to education for talented students in need, regardless of circumstance or background.


The challenge isn’t always just getting into university, but staying there.

Often, 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.

“I’m originally from a little country town called Bellingen, about 6 hours north of Sydney. It has a population of around 3,000, if that. Coming to UNSW suddenly meant that I met more people on the main walkway than my entire town, which was utterly terrifying.”

Simba (BEng ’17)

The President & Vice-Chancellor’s Equity Scholarship

The President and Vice-Chancellor’s Equity Scholarship provides much needed financial support to students experiencing disadvantage, including students from rural or remote areas, student from low socio-economic background, Indigenous Australians, students with disabilities and students experiencing hardship.

Recipients are awarded $5,000 per year for the duration of their degree, which provides much needed support for essentials like accommodation, food, textbooks, computers, transport and other living expenses.

Empowering the next generation

While a scholarship of $5,000 per year may not seem like much, it can be the difference between struggle and success for a talented student that may be experiencing disadvantage.

The additional support could give a first-year from a low-income family the funds to buy a computer and textbooks, an ambitious student the chance to focus on study instead of working extra shifts at a casual job, or an indigenous student from a remote area a ticket home for the holidays.

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

Simba (BEng ’17)


Since 2009, over 7,000 alumni have supported the President & Vice-Chancellor’s Equity Scholarship through the UNSW Impact Appeal. Their generosity has allowed us to offer over 120 scholarships to talented students, 45 of whom have already graduated.

In 2019 we are aiming to offer this opportunity to another 20 deserving UNSW students for the class of 2020, but we need your help.


100% of your gift will go towards creating opportunities for talented students experiencing disadvantage at UNSW. All gifts, no matter the amount, make a difference.

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



ASPIRE is an outreach program that works with students in K-12 from low socio-economic (low SES) backgrounds in schools across Sydney and regional NSW. Its mission is to increase their educational aspirations and help them access a university education.



Why is it important?

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 ability – more often, it is due to 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. Often, students think that they:

  • Are not capable of getting into University
  • Live too far away
  • Are not financially well off enough
  • Don't know anyone who has been to University
  • Won’t fit in or be made to feel welcome
  • By supporting ASPIRE, you can help to turn this around.


“I’ve seen a huge change in the kids now. They understand if they want to go to university, they can go to university. ASPIRE has opened that aspiration for them, that they are capable of doing it.”

Bev Small, Head Teacher, Secondary Studies, Condobolin High School.


The impact of ASPIRE

ASPIRE has partnered with 56 regional and metro schools across NSW to address these barriers, and through its programs encourages all students from an early age to have an aspiration for their future: to dream big, set a goal and work to achieve it.

For those students who discover that they have the desire and the capability to succeed at university, ASPIRE works with their school and community to help get them there.

University success is not determined by where you come from, what school you went to, how much your family earns or where you live. When students are given the confidence and support to break through barriers, not only do they perform well at university, but they can excel.

Many of the ASPIRE students are the first in their family to step foot on a university campus. The experience of visiting a university campus, or interacting with current university students, helps to overcome the barriers of doubt, distance and circumstance; they leave enriched and encouraged by the prospects for their futures, prospects which just days before they had never thought possible.

“For those students, it has given them an understanding of what’s out there for them. What options they have, what resources, what support networks exist in the university. I think it gives them the confidence to say, “Yeah, I’m going to have a go.”

Christina Mateus, Deputy Principal, Chester Hill High School.


How can you help?

Your gift to ASPIRE may only take a few minutes, but the impact of your support can last a lifetime.

  • If 100 alumni gave $50 per month for a year, it could ensure that the travel costs for over 300 of ASPIRE’s regional students to attend on-campus workshops were secure for another year;
  • If just 10 alumni gave $20 per month for a year , it could ensure that one of ASPIRE’s 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 gift 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 to be a pediatric nurse. I plan to go to university and do my nursing degree – hopefully maybe even do other degrees while I am there.”

Brianna, Student, Ungarie Central School

Fast facts:

  • ASPIRE works with 56 schools across NSW and has been operating since 2007
  • There has been a 155% increase in the number of offers to university for students from ASPIRE partner schools from 2010 to 2018 (488 in 2010 compared to 1,242 in 2018, including 65 to UNSW) *
  • In 2017, ASPIRE ran 352 in-school workshops in regional NSW and metropolitan Sydney in 2017, comprising 8,536 student engagements, and held 18 on campus events that brought 1,143 students onto the UNSW campus
  • Since 2010, over 441 students from ASPIRE partner schools have enrolled at UNSW, 42 of whom have already graduated with a bachelor’s degree.
  • 179 student ambassadors donated 2,152 hours to the ASPIRE program in 2017


* 2018 offer statistics current as at 26/09/2018.

“We could never replicate what ASPIRE does for our students. You take this program away and there’s a whole lot of kids who will never make it to university and never experience the social mobility higher education leads to. We as a society should not squander the potential that exists in low socio-economic schools.”

Dorothy Hoddinott, Principal, Holroyd High School



100% of your gift will go towards creating opportunities for talented students experiencing disadvantage at UNSW. All gifts, no matter the amount, make a difference.

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