The story of the Australian student whose $200,000 scholarship funded his first Australian degree

A university in Queensland has awarded $200 000 in scholarships to a former student who had no formal qualifications to begin with.

The Australian National University (ANU) has awarded scholarships to two of its former students, who are from countries with low per capita income and limited educational resources.

Both students were in their early 20s at the time they took the loans, but the ANU has said they were eligible because they had a strong background in education.

Mr Khalifa Ahmed, 25, is a former financial services executive who is now working for a company in Melbourne.

He had no prior qualifications to be able to begin his studies.

But Mr Khalifa said he had received a scholarship from the ANUs first-ever scholarship in 2017.

“I had just been in a car accident that caused me some significant pain, and I had been on the verge of losing my job,” he said.

“My whole life was gone, but now it was going to be my whole life.”

Mr Khalife said the scholarships gave him “a chance to put all of that behind me”.

“It was the best thing that could have happened to me, I just wanted to make sure I got it,” he added.

“There was nothing to lose, there was nothing I could do, so I wanted to get it done and get on with my life.”

The scholarships were granted at the end of May.

“The scholarships that I got from ANU gave me the chance to complete my education, to get my degree, and that was really the main reason why I did it,” Mr Khalife told

“As I told my wife, if I had done anything different I would have been in jail.”

To get the scholarship and do it on my own was amazing.

“Mr Kalifa had previously enrolled in a business school, and said he would have attended the same institution had he not been in such a financially strapped state.”

It would have meant I would still be able at least to get a job,” Mr Kamil said.

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