darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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Applications are now open for a new program to improve access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for students living in regional and remote parts of Australia.

Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships supports students for up to four years (or the part-time equivalent) with the costs of studying a Certificate IV to a PhD level course.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester encouraged local students to apply for the scholarships of up to $18,000, made possible by a $24 million commitment from the Coalition Government at the last election.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Gippsland students to gain the support they need to study in fields with strong employment outcomes,” Mr Chester said.

“These scholarships are about making student life easier for our students and making STEM courses more attractive study options.

“I urge students living in Gippsland, including those in remote parts of our region, to take advantage of these scholarships to get the skills they need for future jobs.”

Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said all Australians deserved quality education and training opportunities, no matter where they lived.

“The program has been designed to suit the needs of rural and regional students and will support flexible arrangements, including part-time and online study,” Minister Scullion said.

“We’re also supporting the participation of rural women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in STEM, among others, by prioritising them through the scholarship selection process.”

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said science and innovation were recognised internationally as critical for boosting productivity, creating new jobs, enhancing competitiveness and driving economic growth.

“As well as tackling some of the hurdles regional and rural students face, these scholarships will help boost their numbers in STEM courses where they have been under-represented,” Minister Birmingham said.

“In 2015, 25.8 per cent of 15-64 year olds lived in regional and remote areas, but represented only 19.3 per cent of STEM enrolments.”

The scholarships will operate from 2017-18 to 2020-21, with the first round of 600 scholarships being awarded for the 2018 academic year, and a second round of 600 for 2019.

The first round of applications will close on 8 January 2018. Scholarship applications for the 2019 academic year will open in the second half of 2018.

Prospective vocational education, undergraduate and postgraduate students (Certificate IV to PhD) are eligible to apply for a Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarship to support them in their studies in the year ahead.

For more information, visit the https://www.education.gov.au/rural-and-regional-enterprise-scholarships

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