Communications & Media

Young asylum seekers pursue their dreams through new University of Tasmania scholarships

Young people seeking asylum in Tasmania from some of the most troubled parts of the world have been granted new University of Tasmania scholarships, giving them access to the transformative power of education.

Three young asylum seekers - awarded places in the inaugural Tasmanian Asylum Seeker Scholarship scheme today – are set on making a difference in fields including medicine and arts/law.

“These scholarships rest at the heart of a set of values which are deeply embedded at the University of Tasmania,” Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen said.

“We value the creation, expansion and dissemination of knowledge, and subscribe to the concept of continual learning. Further, we have a view which is global in scope, aiming to be a bridge to the world, and from the world to Tasmania.

“Finally, we value diversity and the strength, resilience and creativity it brings. For the well-being of all we create a welcoming, caring and inclusive environment.”

The University’s new scholarship is part of the Refugee Council of Australia’s Education for All Campaign.

The 2017 Tasmanian Asylum Seeker Scholarship recipients are:

Mohammad Hanif Iqbal Zada, 21

Hanif arrived in Australia in 2013 after fleeing Pakistan due to safety considerations. He is the sole income provider for his family, after losing his brother and father. Since arriving in Tasmania Hanif studied English at TAFE and Year 11 and 12 at The Friends School. This year, he is enrolled in a Bachelor of Medical Research. “I have always been interested in studying in the medical field because of my experiences growing up in Quetta, Pakistan, as a Hazara where I saw the impact of the lack of access to proper medical care. My father died of a preventable disease, tuberculosis, and other family members have suffered with malaria throughout their lives.”

Haji Mohammad Alizada, 21

At 16 years of age, Haji fled Afghanistan, arriving firstly in Indonesia before being taken to Christmas Island where he was granted a bridging visa in 2014. Since arriving in Tasmania Haji has volunteered at a number of organisations, including the Migrant Resource Centre and the Hobart Hazara Community Association, and regularly speaks on issues facing refugees and asylum seekers. He is enrolled in the University’s Foundation Studies Program, leading to the Bachelor of Arts, and hopes to one day help those in need.

Ali Almteri, 22

Ali arrived in Tasmania in 2013 to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. He was born in Kuwait into a stateless family, which meant he was not permitted to study (at any level), along with other restrictions. Since arriving in Tasmania, Ali has volunteered with the Red Cross (translating for Arabic clients) and the Migrant Resource Centre and has spoken publicly on human rights issues. He is currently enrolled in the University’s Foundation Studies Program, leading to the Bachelor of Biotechnology.

Unlike holders of permanent humanitarian visas, people seeking asylum and refugees on temporary protection visas are not eligible for programs and concessions designed to assist students with financing tertiary education.

The scholarships will be presented annually to support Tasmanian asylum seekers who are residing in Tasmania and on a Temporary Protection Visa; applying for a Safe Haven Protection Visa (SHPV); on an equivalent bridging visa or seeking asylum in Tasmania to pursue undergraduate tertiary studies at the University of Tasmania.

Applicants are assessed on demonstrated involvement in their local community, commitment to education and financial need.

The University’s Foundation has established a Tasmanian Asylum Seeker Scholarship fund to provide the scholarships. The fund is designed to pool together donations in order to achieve the greatest impact each year.

To make an online donation visit www.utas.edu.au/donate

For more information contact the University’s Foundation on (03) 6226 1920 or www.utas.edu.au/advancement

Published on: 30 Mar 2017 3:47pm