New scholarship to benefit students from low-income families

To boost equal access to high-quality education, the University of Wollongong (UOW) has announced a new partnership with Housing Trust, a for-purpose community-housing provider operating in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. Thanks to this partnership, a new scholarship – Housing Trust Opportunity Scholarship – has just been announced on Monday 13th December 2022.

The generous stipend will provide a UOW future student with $5000 per year – a total of $15,000 over the three years of their undergraduate degree. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be living in social housing or affordable housing in the Illawarra LGA or Shoalhaven LGA and plan to enrol full-time in any undergraduate degree at the UOW Wollongong Campus or Shoalhaven Campus.

UOW Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health Senior Professor Eileen McLaughlin said she welcomed the collaboration with Housing Trust with gratitude.

“I am delighted to celebrate this new partnership that will enrich the lives of our student community. Especially that in the last three years, I’ve seen many young people under immense financial stress. Housing Trust Opportunity Scholarship is the first UOW stipend focusing on this area of need – it will enable students to overcome financial challenges and finalise their degree. This is the true power of philanthropy,” Professor McLaughlin said.  

Senior Professor Eileen McLaughlin with Housing Trust CEO Michelle Adair
UOW Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health Senior Professor Eileen McLaughlin (left) with Housing Trust CEO Michele Adair.

Housing Trust CEO Michele Adair said many of us take the costs associated with tertiary education – the cost of laptops, textbooks or parking tickets – for granted when the reality is that they can impact the ability of students from low-income families to complete their studies, even after they have been accepted into university.

“We are proud to be establishing the first Housing Trust UOW Opportunity Scholarship for students living in social or affordable housing. Once you have a safe, secure, affordable home, your next priority is education. Nobody should be denied the future of their dreams that they’re academically capable of achieving. Affraying the cost of a laptop or textbooks, transport or petrol is invaluable in helping people achieve their potential,” Ms Adair said.

Razan Habara is studying for an accounting degree at UOW. She has previously been a recipient of the Housing Trust tenant scholarship and said the support she received from Housing Trust helped her to excel in her education.

Accounting student Razan Habara during Housing Trust Opportunity Scholarship launch
UOW accounting student Razan Habara said she appreciated the support of Housing Trust. 

“Getting into uni is just the start of your journey. People don’t realise how quickly some of the little expenses of studying can add up. For example, paying for parking on a day when I have an exam so that I’m not arriving stressed out and worrying about getting there on time can make a massive difference to how I perform,” Razan said.

“Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to purchase the laptop I use for my studies, especially with remote learning introduced during the pandemic. I wouldn’t have been able to purchase the textbooks I needed to study for my exams each semester. It has helped me in so many ways; without it, my student life would have been much harder.”


Housing Trust Opportunity Scholarship will provide a UOW future student living in social or affordable housing with $5000 per year, a total of $15,000 over the duration of their three-year undergraduate degree.

Applications for the scholarship are now open and will close on 29 January 2023.

Scholarship website: