1 October, 2023
Monash expands scholarship program
MONASH University will offer over $50 million in scholarships over the next three years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and students experiencing economic disadvantage.
More than 6000 students will be eligible to study for a university degree under an expanded and diversified Monash University scholarship program.
Monash recently launched its new scholarship program, ‘Kummargi Yulendi’ (Boon Wurrung language, translates to knowledge is rising), which will better support Indigenous and economically disadvantaged students, including those from regional or remote areas, to undertake higher education.
Indigenous students undertaking a three-year undergraduate degree, relocating from a regional or remote area, can receive a minimum $25,500 towards their degree, or at least $38,500 for a five-year double degree.
Economically disadvantaged students undertaking a three-year undergraduate degree, relocating from a regional or remote area, may receive a minimum $24,000 towards their degree, or at least $36,000 for a five-year double degree.
Acting provost and senior vice-president Professor Sharon Pickering announced the new program, which will be in place for incoming students in 2024.
This will build on previous scholarship supports for students who have typically faced barriers to undertaking higher education.
“Monash is committed to empowering the next generation of changemakers to reach their full potential through our enriched scholarships program, Kummargi Yulendj,” Ms Pickering said.
The Monash scholarship program was gifted the name Kummargi Yulendj by Yaluk-ut Weelam Boon Wurrung Elder, N’arweet Carolyn Briggs AM, an ajunct professor with the faculty of art, design and architecture.
The name is grounded in her family’s deep connection to the Ngargee, or ceremony tree, in St Kilda.
Standing strong for 800 years, this towering red gum symbolises knowledge and its power to create lasting impact.
“What it means to me is the generations of knowledge that it holds,” Professor Briggs said.
“Kummargi is rising up. Yulendj is a knowledge; a deep knowledge that is rising up. The Ngargee tree is symbolic of something that is old, before settlers. It’s more than a tree – it will be a habitat long after this too.
“We’ve got 80,000 years of human history, and that knowledge has somehow survived. With Kummargi Yulendj Monash has made its commitment to knowledge being shared across indigenous and non-indigenous communities.”
At Monash in 2024 all aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students will have access to a guaranteed annual $6500 payment for the duration of their degree.
Two hundred and 50 of the most economically disadvantaged students will have access to a $6000 annual payment for the duration of their degree.
All other students who meet the economic disadvantage criteria will be entitled to a one-off $3000 kick starter scholarship.
Indigenous, or economically disadvantaged students from regional or remote areas who relocate to study at Monash can apply to receive a $6000 relocation payment.
Additionally, students experiencing other hardships can receive a one-off $3000 scholarship.
Professor Pickering said boosting access to higher education for these students was a key component of Monash’s Impact 2030 strategic plan.
“For most of us who have graduated from university, we had to actively seek that out, and it wasn’t an opportunity afforded to the majority of students; it was in fact mostly available only to those whose families could afford it,” Professor Pickering said.
“It’s clear from the Australian Universities Accord Interim Report that the higher education sector needs to do better when it comes to making education accessible to Indigenous students, regional students and those experiencing economic disadvantage".
Professor Pickering said boosting access to higher education for those student cohorts was also a key component of the strategic plan and that launching Kummargi Yulendj for students starting in 2024 was an “absolute priority” for Monash.
Pro vice-chancellor (Indigenous) Professor Tristan Kennedy said it was incumbent upon universities to ensure students had full access to resources and support to allow them to succeed during their time at Monash, and prepare them for their future careers.
He said students who choose to study at Monash receive an experience that extends well beyond an excellent education in the classroom and financial support.
“Through Kummargi Yulendj, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and students from low income and regional backgrounds will have priority access to the university’s Jobs for Students program,” Professor Kennedy said.
“This will help build their employability skills ahead of the completion of their degree.”
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have access to ongoing support via our William Cooper Institute – a dedicated Indigenous hub of research, learning and engagement.
Support includes tutoring, subsidised prescribed textbooks, cultural and community events, Orientation Camp and an Indigenous Leaders Program.