Bradman Foundation Scholarship helps Indian student pursue dream job
Hard work and determination have so far paid off for 18-year-old Mohammed Shuja Ahmed Khan.
Fresh out-of high school in Hyderabad, the amateur cricketer had dreams of travelling overseas to study civil engineering.
“My dad is a civil engineer and my family runs a private construction company. When I was younger I used to accompany dad on construction sites and I became interested in civil engineering, building dams bridges and buildings,” Shuja said.
“I always wanted to study at one of the top universities in the world and after I finished high school I started researching universities and scholarships. I found University of Wollongong and discovered the Bradman Scholarship, which combines study and cricket, the two things I am most interested in. It was the perfect scholarship for me.”
The UOW Bradman Foundation Scholarship offers one student each year a 50 per cent fee waiver for a Bachelor degree. Applicants must be Indian citizens and either be enrolled at UOW, or have an unconditional offer of admission to the University.
The scholarship aims to assist students that reflect Sir Donald Bradman’s ideals, and so targets students that possess a blend of academic, personal and social skills as well as a high level of cricket skills. The selection committee with members representing Bradman Foundation and UOW, clearly agreed that Shuja was a fitting candidate to become the inaugural recipient of the scholarship.
Shuja’s passion for cricket was cultivated by his father who offered him encouragement as he progressed through the ranks to become a competitive cricketer playing at zone level. As a young but mature cricketer, Shuja also became a mentor to others, stepping in to coach younger members of the cricket club.
Aside from the head start of a scholarship at an internationally renowned Australian university, the Bradman Scholarship offered Shuja the chance to meet one of his idols -- former Australian cricketer and UOW brand ambassador Adam Gilchrist.
“I am a big fan of Gilchrist. He actually played for the city that I am from - Hyderabad,” Shuja explains, referring to Gilchrist’s stint with the Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League.
“I was very fortunate to meet him. We talked for hours about cricket and education.”
Despite the obvious differences between Shuja’s home city and the city of Wollongong (Hyderabad has a population of about 3.6 million while Wollongong is home to about 250,000), Shuja has adjusted well to his new surroundings since arriving here in February 2014.
“It’s very much like I imagined it would be. I’ve visited the beaches in Wollongong and I travel to Sydney almost once a month to explore sites such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.”
Not surprisingly, Shuja, his friends and Indian housemates who share his obsession for cricket, have found a park close by to their house where they can play cricket on Sunday afternoon.
“Wollongong is a lovely place to live and study, and once I finish my degree I will take all the knowledge I have gained from here and apply that in my home country.”
For more information on the Bradman Scholarship and studying at the University of Wollongong, visit www.uow.edu.au