New South Wales

New scholarship to inspire rural women to study business

Women from regional and remote areas who aspire to a career in business can apply for a new scholarship at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) thanks to the generosity of Mr Don Koch and Ms Jennifer Frances.

The Koch & Frances Inclusion & Diversity Scholarship aims to increase the participation of women in business, and provide support for those experiencing hardship. It will provide $18,000 over three years towards cost-of-living and tuition fees.

Mr Koch, who grew up in regional NSW, understands a little of the struggles currently facing families in rural and regional communities, particularly with the worst drought in 30 years.

“Farmers are having a tough time at the moment, and this also affects those who live and work in country towns. Jennifer and I are returning to Australia after many years overseas and we felt we wanted to give something back to the community,” says Mr Koch.

UTS Business School Dean, Professor Chris Earley, expressed his thanks to Mr Koch and Ms Frances for their generosity and encouraged eligible students to apply.

“One of the major hurdles for financially disadvantaged and regional students is the cost of living while undertaking a full-time degree in Sydney, so this scholarship will make a real difference,” says Professor Earley.

“It is also important because we want to attract students from a range of backgrounds, who bring an understanding of the issues facing rural and regional Australia. Without that diversity, we lose that dimension,” he says.

Both Mr Koch and Ms Frances were supported early in their career by their families as well as their first employer, and their studies helped launch stellar careers in the banking and IT industries.

After several years of work experience Mr Koch studied a Master of Banking and Finance at UTS Business School and Ms Frances a Master of International Business at Sydney University.

Mr Koch went on to become CEO of ING Direct Australia and ING Bank Italy, and most recently worked in Beijing for ING Asia. Ms Frances is a senior executive at one of the financial services leaders in Australia, and previously worked in global roles as an executive at IBM.

The state-of-the-art UTS Business School, designed by Frank Gehry, offers a wide array of flexible programs developed in close collaboration with industry. UTS is conveniently located near Sydney’s central station and is accessible by rail, bus and light rail services.

While HSC academic attainment is one of the criteria used to select the Koch & Frances Inclusion & Diversity Scholarship recipient, the panel are also looking for applicants who have demonstrated initiative in seeking opportunities to advance their professional and personal life, overcome financial and or educational disadvantages.

Applications for the Koch & Frances Inclusion & Diversity Scholarship are now open. Eligible students are encouraged to apply via the UTS Scholarships website.

Source: UTS