It has long been recognised by universities throughout the world that the number of scholarships offered by a university has a major impact on the number and the quality of the students applying to that university.
Targeted scholarships can be used to promote the educational interests of specific sections of the community in which sponsors have a vested interest. If the scholarship is for postgraduate study, sponsors have the opportunity to support research in areas of special importance to them.
All the leading universities of the world have a wide range of scholarships. The existence of named scholarships can bring prestige to the university and profile to the sponsor. Scholarships offer an ideal outcome in terms of three-way mutual benefits: to the university, to the sponsor, and to the students.
A major reason for the popularity of scholarships in overseas universities is their dollar cost-effectiveness: sponsors can have a major impact on a student's life, a field of study, and the university's development, for as little as $5,000 per year.
I invite you to consider whether either the mutual benefit component or the social impact component of this initiative would be in line with your goals and aspirations. If you think they might be, I would be very pleased to discuss the matter with you personally.
If your scholarship is to match your vision it is essential that we are able to sustain for you a sense of satisfaction and ownership. We will assist you to establish the goals, the selection criteria, and the conditions of tenure of your scholarship. The guidelines and suggestions which follow may be of assistance.
You will probably want the name of your scholarship to reflect the identity of the sponsor and the intention of the scholarship, for example:
Graham Roberts Rural Engineers Scholarship Joyce Webb Memorial Scholarship in Tropical Health G.F. Eames Scholarship in Accounting
You may wish to specify the pool of potential students you would like to be eligible for your scholarship. You might specify that they should be students living in North Queensland, or students of Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, or students with a disability, and so on. We would then apply your selection criteria just to this pool of candidates.
Once we have applied your eligibility rules, the final identification of the successful candidate would be made on the basis of who best meets your selection criteria. You might wish to specify selection criteria that are of special relevance and aligned to your organisation's objectives and values. For instance, the scholarship could be offered on the basis of academic merit to a student who possesses high motivation and special interest in a particular field.
As well as specifying selection criteria, you may also like to stipulate particular conditions to your scholarship. For example, you might like to incorporate into the scholarship a practical work component whereby the successful scholar is offered work in your organisation for a specific period of time whilst undertaking the scholarship
The length of the support you provide to your student(s) and the tenure of your scholarship is ultimately up to you.
Scholarships offered by James Cook University must be valued at $5,000 or more to be named a scholarship. Other amounts will be named "bursary" or "grant". Although is possible to donate any amount for a scholarship, amounts between $4,000 and $5,000 can be very effective.
For this contribution, sponsors can have a substantial impact on the lives of their students. The amount of the scholarship however, is entirely at your discretion.
At the higher end, a scholarship for a PhD might be of the order of $20,000 per year. It is worth noting that sponsorship sums are tax deductible and therefore the net contribution is significantly less than the value of the scholarship.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact the Advancement Office.
Toni Lawrence Director, Advancement James Cook University Townsville, QLD 4811