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Congratulations to Xue Li, the first of our students to graduate with the help of a First in Family Grant. Xue received her Bachelor of Commerce degree after first completing a Diploma of Commerce through MIBT.
Encouraged by her family, Xue came to Australia in 2003 to study VCE. She had to adapt to a new country, support herself financially and learn a new language.
She applied to Deakin through the VTAC special entry assistance scheme - SEAS - for students with financial hardship. Xue was offered a First in Family Grant. This initiative aims to reduce barriers to university education caused by lack of finances, transport or housing. The grant is for new Business and Law students. Students are paid $250 per unit up to $2000, over one year.
Before receiving the First in Family Grant in 2011, Xue found it difficult to balance her time between work and study. Her workplace was inflexible. She couldn't get time off to work on assignments or prepare for exams. She struggled to meet deadlines. Xue wanted to succeed with her studies but needed to earn money as well.
The grant allowed Xue to reduce work hours and have more time for study. 'I finally started to enjoy my time in university and concentrate on my study without distraction. I made more friends and started to feel more involved', she said.
Xue's family are extremely proud of her achievements and her graduation was an important milestone for the whole family. The Faculty's Student Engagement and Access Officer, Dr Jenny Hurley, was on hand at her graduation. The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gael McDonald, met with Xue to discuss her future plans and wish her well. This support has been important to Xue as she looks for work in a very competitive job market.
With plans to continue her studies and become a CPA (Certified Practicing Accountant), Xue is currently looking for a job in her field of accounting and finance. One day, she'd like to have her own accounting firm.
Xue is keen to encourage fellow students, especially those who are the first in their family to attend University. 'Be brave and follow your dreams, there are supports at your side as long as you show your desires and efforts'.
Find out if you're eligible for a First in Family grant.