Philanthropists find their perfect match
5 June 2019 at 5:14 pm
The University of Queensland (UQ) is working with philanthropists to raise $30 million for disadvantaged students through a new scholarship matching initiative.
UQ has set aside $15 million to match funding for every donation it receives over $50,000. The funding will be used to provide scholarships for students who earn a place at UQ but can’t afford to pay for their tuition.
Under the initiative, a donor who contributes $50,000 will see UQ match the funding dollar for dollar, creating an $100,000 scholarship.
UQ vice-chancellor and president Professor Peter Høj AC said these well-structured scholarships offered more than just financial stability.
“They offer networks of support, access to unique mentoring activities and affirmation in the individual of their worth and abilities,” Høj said.
“The young people I have met who have been supported by needs-based scholarships at UQ are academically bright and have integrity and work ethic.
“Through no fault of their own, they found themselves in circumstances where attending university and succeeding at study would have been very difficult, if not impossible, without support.”
A 2017 Universities Australia student finances survey found one in seven local students went regularly without food or other necessities because they did not have enough money.
UQ’s initiative uses an endowment model meaning scholarships can be provided for those in need both in the short term and for future generations.
Høj said UQ was partnering with donors to create positive change and support students from a diverse range of backgrounds.
“Recent scholarship recipients include students from regional and rural areas who faced isolation and natural disasters, refugees or children of refugees and other people who had escaped violence, and some who had experienced family loss or illness at a very young age,” he said.
Philanthropy Australia CEO Sarah Davies told Pro Bono News she welcomed the initiative and its generous matching approach.
“Matching donations dollar for dollar is a great way for organisations to not only increase giving from the wider community, but to also incorporate corporate giving into their practices,” Davies said.
“Education initiatives are often the focus of philanthropic giving, because of the difference an education can make, not only to individual students, but also to communities.”