A new scholarship for veterinary medicine degree students that gives preference to male applicants has sparked outrage among female students.
The University of Sydney’s 27,000 dollar (£16,500) scholarship is available to students who are enrolled in the postgraduate doctor of veterinary medicine degree course.
It states: “Preference will be given to applicants who are from rural and regional areas, male, interested in large animal practice, intend to work in rural veterinary science and are Australian citizens”.
The successful applicant for The Prof Marsh Edwards AO scholarship, which is being offered for the first time this year, will receive 6,750 dollars (£4,110) a year for four years.
News of the scholarship was met with anger among female students.
A female student, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was “very surprised” with the preference and thought it was “a mistake”.
She said: “When I read the scholarship, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I thought it had to be a mistake. It makes me think they care more about money than my right to equal opportunities.
“Female graduates of vet school are still paid less, from day one. I think it shows very little thought into the causative agents of under representation of women in Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).”
A University of Sydney spokesman said the preference for male applicants had been requested by the donor, adding the scholarship does not exclude females and is open to all veterinary science students – who are “overwhelmingly female”.