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USQ's Vice-Chancellor Geraldine Mackenzie. Photo: Bev Lacey/ News Regional Media.

USQ’s new scholarship program aimed at retaining local talent

In an effort to keep high-achieving school leavers in regional areas the University of Southern Queensland is offering a number of new scholarships.

The new scholarships are available for students with OPs from 1-8, with OP 1-2 students eligible for scholarship packages of up to $29,000, plus an optional overseas study package and leadership development.

Students who receive an OP of 6, equivalent to an ATAR of 90 or above, will also be offered a scholarship valued at $20,000; those who achieve an OP 8 (ATAR 85 or above) are entitled to up to $6000.

USQ vice-chancellor Geraldine Mackenzie said the decision was “a decisive move to help keep our young people in the regions and attract students from capital cities to study at USQ”.

“We want to ensure our best and brightest are staying in the region, and that we are attracting school leavers from across the State.

“We want to build strong rural and regional communities and we know that providing outstanding educational opportunities (and careers) locally is the best way of doing just that,” she said.

Professor Mackenzie said the scholarships would be offered to applicants who list USQ at any campus – Toowoomba, Ipswich and Springfield – as their first preference and meet the scholarship requirements.

The top scholarship, named the Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship, will be awarded to students with ATAR’s of 95 or above who will receive $29,000 over four years or $23,000 over three years. The study abroad option is also a possibility as well as a program targeted at honing leadership and development skills.

The other two scholarships – Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship and Executive Dean’s Scholarship – are similar in value as well as opportunities available.

According to the Good Universities Guide 2019 USQ is the highest ranked Australian university for graduate starting salary and number one for graduate employment prospects.

“It may surprise some that their local university is ranked so highly on a national scale but just because something is in a capital city it doesn’t equate to [being] better,” Mackenzie said.

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