UNSW recipients of Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarships, Alexia Fan, Julie Li, Meira Chen, Ryan Xi and Wee An Tan, will have the opportunity to study for up to a year at a leading university in China, Singapore or Hong Kong and take part in an eight month leadership development program, co-created with Common Purpose, a global leader in cross-boundary leadership development.

UNSW student Meira Chen is focused on the opportunities she now has to create social change with the brightest minds of Australia and Asia. She has ambitious plans to spearhead an initiative to educate girls in rural China through the Australia China Youth Association, and also plans to undertake an internship with AustCham in Beijing. After her exchange, her ultimate goal is to influence education policy in Australia, bringing more focus to Asia in the curriculum of NSW schools.

I think that the concept of guanxi ( 关系 ) or 'relationships' in Chinese culture can be a conduit for greater bilateral ties. Through collaborating with my fellow Westpac Scholars and staying connected with people I meet on my Asian exchange adventure, I would like to share and open up pathways for more Australian young professionals to tap into learning opportunities in China.

UNSW recipients will have a unique opportunity to visit world-leading technology and innovation labs, seeing firsthand the innovation ecosystem in China.

UNSW recipients will start their exchange in August, beginning with a four-day residential program in Shanghai. During this time together they will have a unique opportunity to visit world-leading technology and innovation labs, seeing firsthand the inspiring development of the innovation ecosystem in China. 

Susan Bannigan, CEO of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, believes the Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship is much more than a student exchange”.

It focuses heavily on leadership development, establishing global networks and developing a greater understanding of the region through immersive learning,” she said.

Students will also gain lifelong membership of the Westpac 100 Scholars Network.  

“Growing by 100 scholars a year across our five scholarship programs, this alumni network of inspired and inspiring people is connecting those with bold ideas to build a better future for all Australians,” Ms Banningan said.

The Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship is offered in partnership with eight Australian universities including UNSW. For the full list of 2018 Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship recipients visit www.westpac.com.au/scholarships.