India: A growing number of Indian students have sought postgraduate education by considering opportunities overseas. The University of Queensland (UQ), as part of its commitment to enhancing its contribution to diversity and equity of opportunity, has signed an agreement with the Asha Society India (Asha) to support the Asha International Education Programme through India Equity Scholarships for students from the marginalised communities of New Delhi, India. A senior executive delegation from UQ, led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), Rongyu Li, visited Asha in August 2022.
As part of the agreement, UQ will provide three scholarships for postgraduate master’s coursework study at UQ. Each scholarship will cover the student’s full tuition fees, as well as an annual living stipend of $13,000, on-campus accommodation and meals, overseas student health cover, a book allowance per semester, and $2,400 towards flights to and from Australia.
Talking about the University’s delight to continue its partnership with Asha to open pathways to a world-class education for some of India’s most vulnerable communities, UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) Rongyu Li said, “While in India, I had the pleasure of meeting with several Asha students and hearing their personal stories. These students are driven by a determination to learn that is genuinely inspirational, and we are delighted to be able to nurture their journey to success. Access to education has not only changed the lives of these students but has also impacted their wider communities. Through the India Equity Scholarships, we are committed to supporting students like Amritesh Kumar Maurya, who is currently in Brisbane, Australia, studying a Master of International Economics and Finance at UQ. Amritesh, who achieved outstanding academic grades, has aspirations of working for the World Bank. He is a wonderful example of how partnerships like this, between Asha and UQ, help create global changemakers who have a real and meaningful impact on global communities.”
Adding to the above statement, Abhinav Bhatia, Senior Commissioner for Trade, Investment & Education – South Asia at TIQ said, “We aim to act as a bridge between India and Queensland in identifying talents, synergies, and finding sustainable solutions aligned with the UN’s SDGs. Through this rewarding and inclusive engagement from one of the world’s finest education institutes, I am confident this will broaden the horizon of many talented young minds from disadvantaged communities. Furthermore, the partnership between UQ and Asha will empower deserving individuals through fully funded scholarships, which certainly will strengthen bilateral relations between India and Australia.”
For over 30 years, Asha Society India (Asha) has worked to help disadvantaged communities in New Delhi wherein they provide support to people with maternal and child health, basic education, sanitation, and women empowerment. As an extension to the line of support, The University of Queensland (UQ) is offering scholarships for students from the disadvantaged communities of New Delhi, India. Up until now, five students were accepted into reputed universities in Australia, with four attending at the master’s level and one undertaking a PhD in Australia.
Dr Kiran Martin, Founder and Director of Asha, believes that “Education is the only tool which has the power to transform lives of poor and vulnerable slum students and their families and break the shackles of the intergenerational cycle of poverty.”
Qualifying for this scholarship is a rigorous process undertaken by Asha through various screening mechanisms like pre-assessments, interviews, and shortlisting talented students for each scholarship awarded. Final selection will be subject to approval by UQ through the University’s admissions process. Students are selected based on their ability to undertake the chosen course of study; ability to adapt to international study and living; and demonstrated commitment to pay it forward or give back to his/her community by telling his/her story and inspiring other students.
Moreover, the three scholarships newly announced are a continuation of the commitment from UQ to the Asha International Education Programme. In 2021, under the India Equity Scholarship programme, UQ awarded a scholarship to student Amritesh Kumar Maurya to study Master of International Economics and Finance at UQ. Amritesh is currently studying at the UQ campus in Brisbane, Australia. He grew up in a marginalised community in Delhi and hopes the study experience at UQ will allow him to realise his dream of one day working for the World Bank.