From a Rhodes Scholar and an industrial designer helping sick kids to the entrepreneurial winners of a $50,000 grant from Microsoft, UNSW students have made headlines around the globe in 2013.

“I would like to congratulate our students on their excellent achievements across a range of areas and for being terrific ambassadors for UNSW," said Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Students) Professor Wai Fong Chua.

"We look forward to welcoming a new intake of students in 2014, who I am sure will bring many exceptional skills to the University,” she said. 

Here are some of the highlights from 2013: 

  • Arts/Law graduate Kunal Sharma is heading to Oxford University after winning a Rhodes Scholarship. There he will critically analyse the structures of private property, taxation and social welfare. Kunal has been described by his teachers as having one of the best legal minds they have come across for years. 
  • Two industrial design students received local and international recognition for their innovative designs. ShanShan Wang’s lightweight oxygen cylinder for asthma-suffering children and Alfred Boyadgis’ futuristic Robocop-style helmet both received top awards in the James Dyson Australia Awards and the Singapore-based Red Dot Design Awards.
  • A team of UNSW students was awarded a $50,000 Microsoft Imagine Cup grant for their set of apps that will help charities distribute food more efficiently. The grant is offered each year to three finalists from the Imagine World Cup, a competition established by Microsoft to celebrate students using technology to solve critical global problems.
  • UNSW leads Australian universities in the number of graduates who have founded technology start-ups in the last 15 years, a new US-based analysis revealed. Running the analysis for Australian universities shows UNSW with 16 founders or co-founders – majority of whom are computing and electrical engineering graduates. 
  • Another global analysis found that UNSW has produced more millionaire graduates than any other Australian university. The league table, compiled by WealthInsight and Spear’s magazine, listed UNSW as 33rd in the world in the number of millionaires among its alumni.
  • Sarah Lux-Lee, a Science/Law graduate, plans to use her Sir John Monash Scholarship to study a Masters in Public Administration at Columbia University in 2014. Sarah will receive $50,000 a year for up to three years while she undertakes her degree. 
  • Current Arts/Law student Sarah Greenbaum is off to Thailand and Hong Kong in 2014 after winning a Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Award. It was a big year for Sarah, who is currently working as former High Court judge Michael Kirby’s research assistant while he chairs the UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea. Sarah says the scholarship is an opportunity to further expand her knowledge of Asia and the rule of law in China.   
  • UNSW continued to lead in the number of indigenous students graduating from university. Dr Andrew Julian was the first Indigenous medical student to graduate from UNSW on a Balnaves Foundation Scholarship. In postgrad medicine, six Aboriginal women – three of them sisters – graduated with qualifications in public health. UNSW has the country’s largest number of Indigenous medical students, with 56 currently enrolled out of a total of 260 nationwide. Another 10 are engaged in postgraduate degrees with UNSW Medicine. 
  • UNSW celebrated some significant milestones for two of its flagship programs. The Co-op scholarship marked its 25-year partnership with Australia’s industry leaders. Since its inception in 1988, the program has delivered 2,712 high-achieving students to 330 companies including Coca Cola Amatil, Bluescope, Sydney Water and MSD. UNSW also celebrated the success of its mature-age entry scheme, the University Preparation Program (UPP), with more than 4,000 students completing the program over its 25 years, and many continuing to complete Masters and PhDs. 

Industrial designer ShanShan Wang and her award-winning lightweight oxygen cylinder for children