Sydney University is making headlines today over a scholarship for a veterinary student who is from a rural area and commits to working in the regions in the future — and is a man. Women in the course feel the scholarship specifications are unfair — although there are more women studying veterinary sciences than men, they still face a gender pay gap once they are in the industry, one student told The Sydney Morning Herald. The scholarship is new this year, which is partly why the gender specification has caught so much attention. Emeritus Professor Marshall Edwards, for whom the scholarship is named, died in 2012.

It isn’t the only scholarship to have unusual or out-of-date criteria — the Frederick Richard O’Connell Scholarship, which is offered to students at Victoria University and the University of Melbourne, specifies that recipients must declare that they are not and never have been a member of the Communist Party of Australia, and are not a communist sympathiser or the child of a CPA member or sympathiser. Even if a stipulation doesn’t feel quite so relevant any more, if it’s written into a will, it has to stay.

Peter Fray

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