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214 university students receive aged care scholarships.



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Media Release

Hon Kevin Andrews Minister for Ageing

KA139/2003, Tuesday March 18,2003

214 UNIVERSITY STUDENTS RECEIVE AGED CARE SCHOLARSHIPS

A TOTAL of 214 university students across regional and rural Australia will be studying aged care this year after receiving scholarships worth up to $10,000 per year from the Federal Government, Federal Minister for Ageing Kevin Andrews announced today.

This comprises 100 undergraduate students and 114 registered nurses already working in the aged care sector who are returning to study to enhance their skills.

"We received 567 applications for aged care nursing scholarships which reflects strong interest in working in the aged care sector," Mr Andrews said.

The Federal Government allocated $26.3 million in the 2002/03 Budget to fund up to 1000 aged care scholarships over the next four years. The scholarships, worth up $10,000 per year, will allow students to study at rural and regional universities.

"I wish the undergraduate students success in their studies and I am delighted that so many registered nurses will be doing postgraduate and other studies to enhance their skills," Mr Andrews said.

As well as the 214 scholarships announced today, Mr Andrews will soon be announcing how nurses wishing to re-enter the aged care workforce will be able to access several aged care nursing re-entry pilot programs.

"In total there will be more than 250 aged care nursing scholarships offered in the 2003 academic year," he said.

"The sector needs to work with educational institutions to ensure that scholarship recipients gain quality clinical placements in aged care, are supported in those work environments and continue to have access to professional development opportunities."

Scholarships for the 2004 academic year will be invited next month. Interested people should contact the Royal College of Nursing Australia, on 1800 11 66 96 or look at www.rcna.org.au

MEDIA wanting more information about the scholarships should phone Alma Quick in the Department of Health and Ageing on 02 6213 4238.

For other inquiries, phone Press Secretary Felicity Dargan on 0409 550 446