University of Melbourne significantly expands supports for students from all backgrounds with Narrm Scholarship Program

Narrm scholarship
The University of Melbourne is launching the new Narrm Scholarship Program.

The University of Melbourne is launching the new Narrm Scholarship Program. This is a commitment to scholarships and enrichment activities on which the University will spend $64 million per annum by 2030.

The Narrm Scholarships will be available to domestic undergraduate students enrolling through the University’s special entry access scheme, Access Melbourne. Scholarships are guaranteed to all Indigenous Australian students, and to students from identified low socioeconomic areas. Narrm Scholarships for other Access Melbourne students will be allocated based on the overall significance of the barriers to attending university eligible students have faced.

The Scholarships will provide a living allowance and a tailored enrichment program designed to build the student’s sense of belonging and connection with their peers.

The University will welcome the inaugural Narrm Scholars in 2024 and by 2030 the objective is to have increased the numbers of students in these categories from the current 10% to 25% of the domestic undergraduate student body.

The Program is a key undertaking as the University aims to increase its cohort of students who have typically faced barriers to participating in higher education. These may include a disability or medical condition, financial disadvantage, difficult personal circumstances or being the first in their family to attend university.

In addition to the Narrm Scholarships, the University will guarantee relocation allowances to all eligible students from a regional or remote area of Australia.

University of Melbourne Chancellor Ms Jane Hansen AO, said: “Ensuring as many students as are able, but who may not have the means, to attend university is a priority that I deeply support and am closely involved in.

"Narrm Scholars will be supported and encouraged to form life-long connections and develop a strong sense of purpose, grounded in an intellectual foundation that will carry benefits throughout our students’ career paths both for them as individuals and for those with whom they work.”

Ms Hansen attended a government high school in Melbourne and was the first in her family, and the only one in her year level at school, to attend university.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell, said: “We welcome excellent students from all backgrounds and have committed to changing fundamentally the profile of our student body to reflect the diversity of backgrounds, experiences and individual circumstances that exist within our communities.

“It is our responsibility to create a fairer, more equitable and enriching environment where all members of our university community can make a contribution, pursue excellence and thrive. The establishment of the Narrm Scholarship Program will significantly advance this endeavour.”

University of Melbourne Provost, Professor Nicola Phillips, said the Narrm Scholarship will have a profound personal and academic impact on students’ development.

“It can be quite staggering to see the growth in a person's confidence – in their understanding and empathy, their ability to question and to challenge, and their contribution to the world as thinking citizens when the right support mechanisms are in place for them,” Professor Phillips said.

Inala Cooper, Director of Murrup Barak, the Melbourne Institute for Indigenous Development, welcomed the scholarships.

“Removing the burden of financial pressures makes the world of difference,” Ms Cooper said.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at the University of Melbourne are high-achieving, hardworking and motivated to make the most of all the University has to offer.

They’re doing amazing things in the entrepreneurial space, as well as proving fierce advocates for First Nations rights and offering transformative cultural experiences on campus. 

“We know that the ripple effects of their experiences and connections will enable us to make greater strides as a nation and a global community.”

Narrm is the Woi Wurrung word for the Melbourne region, meaning ‘place’. The Narrm Scholarships name was chosen to reflect the significance of place, belonging and connection in students’ university experience, while honouring Indigenous knowledge, practices and cultural heritage. Indigenous leaders in the University and wider community were consulted and have endorsed the naming of Narrm Scholarships.

The Narrm Scholarship Program will supersede the current Melbourne Access Scholarship program for new students from 2024. Students who have applied for Access Melbourne using the VTAC Special Entry Access Scheme, listed the University of Melbourne as one of their preferences and who are eligible for a scholarship will be automatically offered a scholarship if they meet the entry requirements for their preferred course.

The University of Melbourne’s Advancing Students and Education Strategy 2030, launched in March 2023, articulates its aspiration to enrol and educate global citizens from all backgrounds, who are skilled in bringing people together from all walks of life, and who are capable and confident in their ability to negotiate different perspectives, borders, cultures and languages.

The University offers a wide range of other scholarships through its Chancellors Scholars Program, Hansen Scholars Program and more. Find out more at

The University welcomes philanthropic partnership, helping to ensure more students from diverse backgrounds succeed at Melbourne. If you’re interested to learn more, please contact Jonathan Cosgrove on or +61 417 013 406

For details visit the Narrm Scholarship page: Narrm Scholarship (