“Life-changing” scholarship open for exceptional Year 12 students facing financial barriers

Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC Governor of Victoria (L), Hansen Scholarship Program founder Jane Hansen pictured with high school students at Government House.
Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC Governor of Victoria (L), Hansen Scholarship Program founder Jane Hansen with high school students. Image: Peter Casamento

Applications open on March 1 for the University of Melbourne’s new flagship Hansen Scholarship Program, the result of a generous $30 million gift from philanthropists Jane Hansen and Paul Little.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell is encouraging current Year 12 students with excellent grades but whose financial circumstances are a barrier to them attending the University to apply for the Hansen Scholarship Program, officially launched at Government House today, by Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria.

“Jane Hansen and Paul Little are building a tremendous legacy for the University by establishing the Hansen Scholarship Program,” Professor Maskell said.

“Jane and Paul’s generosity and vision will change the lives of young people who otherwise would face significant barriers to attending university. I look forward to welcoming the first intake of Hansen Scholars when they commence at the University next year.”

Hansen Scholarship Program Director Heather Benbow said: “The University of Melbourne has a large number of scholarships but this is by far our most generous undergraduate scholarship to date.

"The Hansen Scholarship Program offers an unrivalled package of benefits and Hansen Scholars will form a close cohort of outstanding young people with diverse backgrounds,” Dr Benbow said.

The Hansen Scholarship Program would help talented, determined students achieve their ambitions, regardless of social or economic barriers, Dr Benbow said.

Applications are open to Australian citizens and permanent residents and run from March 1 to March 21.

The Hansen Scholarship Program provides 20 recipients with:

  • Free accommodation at Little Hall for 48 weeks each year of a three-year undergraduate degree
  • A $4000 annual allowance for general living expenses
  • Up to $4000 to support an approved activity such as an international exchange, international subject, or internship
  • Up to $10 000 for a short-term activity or $20 000 for further study the year after finishing an undergraduate degree
  • Mentoring, pastoral care and enrichment programs available to all students at Little Hall plus a tailored mentoring and support program
  • Priority access to Little Hall’s graduate accommodation for those who go to do graduate studies at the University.

Hansen Scholarship Program candidates must be able to show:

  • A track record of academic excellence and a commitment to academic success in university studies
  • Ability to succeed in the face of adversity and to overcome obstacles
  • Ability to apply skills and strengths towards activities which benefit others
  • Ability to work effectively in a team as well as leadership
  • A likelihood of thriving as a Hansen Scholar and to contribute to the Scholarship program.

Background on the Hansen Scholarship Program:

  • The Hansen Scholarship program will run for an initial 40 years, starting with 20 students beginning studies in 2020
  • Little Hall is expected to be completed by Semester 2, 2020 and will house 669 students
  • The Hansen Scholarship Program and Little Hall have been made possible by a $30 million gift from Paul Little and Jane Hansen to enable students to thrive at the University of Melbourne
  • It is the biggest donation the University has ever received to benefit students
  • Full details are available here.