Westpac Marks 200 Years With Huge $100 Million Education Scholarship Fund

Westpac CEO Gail Kelly has created a $100 million foundation to mark the bank’s bicentenary.

Westpac is planning to offer 100 education scholarships annually, in perpetuity, as part of a new foundation it has established to mark its 200th anniversary.

The bank will tip $100 million into the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation to fund the project, which target tertiary education students.

Westpac CEO Gail Kelly announced details of the scholarships and the Foundation today, saying they would be granted by the Foundation in partnership with Australian universities.

The scholarship categories are outlined below.

Future Leaders scholarships (17 scholarships annually): to new or recent graduates for post-graduate study at a prestigious global institution. Recipients will come from a wide range of disciplines, with preference given to Australia’s relationship with Asia and Technology & Innovation.

Best and Brightest program (two annually): to post-doctoral researchers in Australia’s leading research universities, whose work could contribute to enhancing Australia’s competitive position in technology and innovation, or towards helping strengthen Australia’s ties with Asian economies

The Young Technologists program (30-40 annually): three-year undergraduate scholarships, awarded for merit, to encourage diversity (women are heavily under-represented in technology disciplines) and to overcome economic disadvantage.

Asian Exchange scholarships (30-40 annually): for Australian undergraduates to spend a semester at a leading Asian University, with a focus on increasing the number of Asia-literate graduates in Australia.

The Community Leaders program (10 annually): to community leaders for personal education that will have a direct value to their community.

The programs will be developed progressively and the bank plans to have it fully operational by 2017, Westpac’s bicentenary.

More details can be found here.

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