BENDIGO will benefit from a push to attract more people to study and work in regional areas, under the Destination Australia Program.
Recently announced by the Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge, La Trobe University has received $1.8 million to deliver 30 scholarships at its regional campuses.
This follows the University receiving a record 94 scholarships in the first round of the program for study in 2020.
La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the scholarships have already made a significant difference to the University's local communities, with the real benefits likely to be experienced for years to come.
"Now more than ever regional communities are experiencing critical workforce shortages in areas such as
nursing, teaching, social work, dentistry and allied health," he said.
"Many of our Destination Australia scholarship recipients are eager to finish their studies, and find work in local hospitals, schools, community health centres and private practice.
"This injection of highly skilled, career-ready graduates, who have come to know and love regional life, will benefit those communities for years to come."
Master of Teaching student Sorcha Curtis, originally from the United Kingdom, said she has appreciated receiving the scholarship.
"I began my teaching degree back home, but came to Australia on a backpacking trip and decided to continue my studies here in Bendigo," she said.
"I was a bit worried about my finances and applied for a few scholarships through the University and I got a call and was offered this one.
"Having this extra money allows me to study, work and still be able to have a great experience at the same time."
The Destination Australia program seeks to attract and support international and domestic students to study in regional areas, to grow and develop regional Australian tertiary education providers and offer students a high-quality learning experience.
La Trobe's first allocation of scholarships was awarded to students from a wide range of countries including India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Hong Kong and the UK, as well as Australia.
Paramedicine student Jemma McNair said the state government's recent announcement to allow international students back into Victoria would really benefit students at La Trobe Bendigo.
"It's been really weird over the last 18 months not being able to have as many students on campus," she said.
"It's been way too quiet and doesn't have the same vibes as it once did.
"But with the return of international students, we will be one step closer to normality again, it will be great."
Courses of study include nursing, biomedical science, dental science, social work, business, engineering, teaching and IT and computer science.
Ninety-two per cent of students indicated they would, or were likely, to continue living in regional Australia after graduation.
Of La Trobe's scholarships for study in 2022, 20 are for domestic students and 10 for international students.
Applications are now open for the scholarships. Recipients will receive up to $15,000 per annum for up to four years.
More information on the Destination Australia Scholarships scheme can be found here.
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