Student Sponsorship Scheme - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

Student Sponsorship Scheme


The Student Sponsorship Scheme is designed to provide opportunities for USC students to access financial support to attend conferences that will enhance their employability and support their professional development. Applications are limited to the pre-approved conferences and are subject to change each year.

What is sponsored?

Sponsorship inclusions vary between conferences, but may include flights, accommodation, registration and transfers.

The University can organise your conference travel on your behalf, and students will be covered by USC’s travel insurance where conditions are met. Students may need to co-contribute to the conference if the allocated funding does not cover the entire cost.

Successful students who travel overseas may be eligible to apply for Income Replacement Bursary if their Government support payments as affected by their travel.

Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply for funding, students must:

  • Be currently enrolled at USC and remain enrolled for the duration of the conference,
  • Have completed at least one semester of study at USC before applying,
  • Have a minimum GPA of 4

Each conference has specific selection criteria - see below for full details.

Participation in the conference must not conflict with a student’s academic studies.

Students are eligible for one Sponsorship allocation per calendar year.


Sponsorship is awarded on a merit basis. Applications do not guarantee funding as they are assessed through a competitive application process.

Applications are blindly reviewed by USC staff members and are given an overall average rank based on how they address the selection criteria on the application form in StudentHub

Students who are presenting at a conference will be highly regarded.

How to apply?

Applications need to be submitted via StudentHub by the due date listed below on this page. A separate application form is required for each conference.

Supporting documentation such as conference acceptance or invitation may be required. Students can apply for sponsorship prior to registration for the conference. Late applications are not eligible. Students must notify the University of any change to the information provided in their application form.

Refer to application dates below for each conference.

Note: In response to the COVID-19 virus across Australia and the globe, most conferences are currently cancelled or postponed. This page will be updated accordingly once further information becomes available.

The pre-approved conferences
Current opportunities
Global Leadership Forum  |  Online, Thursday 6 May 2021

Common Purpose is a global not for-profit, that develops inclusive leaders who can cross boundaries – between geographies, generations, sectors, specialisations, backgrounds and beliefs. The Global Leadership Forum will unite up to 2000 students online for three hours to engage with a network of visionary leaders representing huge international brands, and local heroes who make change happen in their communities. Speakers join from across Australia to share insights, provide training, and explore issues that matter most to students.

The USC Student Senate has a sponsorship opportunity for up to 100 students to attend the leadership forum up to the value of $3500. APPLY HERE. Applications close Sunday 25 April (date extended)

Upcoming opportunities
USC Student Leadership Symposium  |  Friday 23 July 2021 Students from all USC campuses are invited to apply to attend this prestigious event. Participants will develop valuable professional and leadership skills. The 2020 Student Leadership Symposium was themed ‘Wellbeing and Leadership’.  USC Students are also provided the opportunity to present to their peers at our ‘round table’ session. Students will enhance their leadership skills and develop peer partnerships.

This conference is held annually during Semester 2 Orientation Week.

The USC Student Senate provides the sponsorship opportunity for 80 students to attend the Symposium up to the value of $5,000.

ANZSSA Conference  |  5-8 December 2021, Perth

The Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association looks at student success and the overall student experience, the conference is aimed at widening perspectives of student success both within and outside of the classroom. The Conference will be held tentatively from 5-8 December 2021 in Perth.

The USC Student Senate has a sponsorship opportunity for one student to attend the conference up to the value of $2,500.

CAPA Conference  |  Date to be confirmed for 2021

The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations is a membership-based non-profit organisation that represents 400,000 postgraduate students studying across 28 institutions. CAPA provides a link between postgraduate students and the Federal government and other higher education bodies.

The USC Student Senate has sponsorship opportunities available for two postgraduate students to attend the CAPA Annual Council Meeting as representatives of the University and the Postgraduates Students Association, up to the total value of $2,150. Conference details coming soon.

HERDSA Conference  |  7-10 July 2021, Brisbane

The Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia is an international association dedicated to the advancement of the higher and tertiary education sector by disseminating research and developing strong academic communities. The 43rd annual HERDSA conference was scheduled to be held on 7-10 July at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane but was postponed. The theme was Research and Development in Higher Education.

The USC Student Senate has sponsorship opportunities for several day passes to attend the conference up to the value of $1,900.

Indigenous Higher Education Conference  |  Date to be confirmed for 2021

The Indigenous Higher Education Conference is a forum in which students and other educational stakeholders meet to share knowledge and information and assist to improve educational outcomes for Indigenous Students in tertiary education. The 2020 conference was scheduled to be held on the 27-28 November at Trinity College in Melbourne but was postponed.

The USC Student Senate has sponsorship opportunities for two Indigenous students to attend the conference up to the total value of $2,150.

ISANA National Education Conference  |  23-26 November 2021, NZ

The ISANA International Education Association Conference provides an opportunity for delegates to explore and discuss the many factors that contribute to the overall student success, both within and outside the classroom. The 2020 conference was postponed due to COVID-19, and in 2021 will be held at the Christchurch Town Hall in New Zealand, from 23-26 November. The theme for the conference is Managing challenges and nurturing resilience in international education.

The USC Student Senate has a sponsorship opportunity for one International student to attend up to the value of $2,150.

STARS Conference  |  5-7 July 2021, Brisbane

The STARS (Students Transitions Achievement Retention & Success) Conference is organised by professional staff in the tertiary sector and provides the opportunity to disseminate and discuss current research, good practice, emerging initiatives and leading edge ideas that are aimed at enhancing students’ tertiary learning experiences. Conference discussions are focused around Students, Transitions, Achievement, Retention and Success.

The 2021 conference is being held in Brisbane from 5-7 July.

The USC Student Senate has a sponsorship opportunity for one student to attend this event up to the value of $2,280.

Students as Partners Roundtable  | Date to be confirmed for 2021

Students as Partners is an initiative that puts students in the front seat when it comes to decision making around learning, teaching and university decision-making. The 2020 SaP roundtable was be held on 28 August 2020 online due to COVID-19.

The USC Student Senate has sponsorship opportunities available for two students to attend up to the total value of $2,000.

Student Leader Global Summit  |  Date to be confirmed for 2021

The International Association of Student Affairs and Services hosts an annual Student Leader Global Summit to provide a platform and networking opportunity for intercultural communication between higher education students. The goal of the summit is to discuss student governance, leadership and social justice. Details of the 2021 conference are coming soon.

The USC Student Senate has a sponsorship opportunity for one student to attend the summit up to the value of $3,000.

TEQSA Conference  | Date to be confirmed for 2021

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency is an independent national agency to regulate the higher education industry and protect the interests of students as well as the reputations of Australian Universities.

The 2020 TEQSA conference will be the fifth annual event. The theme, location and dates for 2021 are yet to be confirmed.

USC has a sponsorship opportunity for one HDR student (from any campus)  or one undergraduate student from USC Gympie, USC Caboolture, USC Moreton Bay, USC Fraser Coast or USC SouthBank to the value of $2,250.

UN Peace Summit of Emerging Leaders  | November 2021

The Peace Summit of Emerging Leaders is a three-day international conference that aims to engage youth leader delegates as Humanitarian Affairs Peace Ambassadors, who will return to their institutions to encourage others to build inclusive societies and promote sustainable peace around the world. The 2020 Peace Summit of Emerging Leaders was held at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand from 5-7 February 2020.

2021 Conference details to be announced. NB: Applicants need to be accepted by the Conference panel prior to applying for sponsorship.

The USC Student Senate has a sponsorship opportunity for one student to attend the 2021 summit up to the value of $2,500.

University Scholars Leadership Symposium  | 21-26 July, 2021

The University Scholars Leadership Symposium is an annual conference held each year in a developing Asia-Pacific country and attended by more than 500 world-class university institutions. The conference aims to unlock potential as well as confidence, goal-setting capabilities, self-reliance and independence.

The USC Student Senate has a sponsorship opportunity for one student aged between 18 and 30 to attend the symposium up to the value of $3,000.