Frances Abbott (left) at the Coalition campaign launch in 2013 with Tony Abbott, mother Margaret and sister Bridget. Photograph: Matt Roberts/Getty Images
Tony Abbott’s daughter Frances received a “chairman’s scholarship” for a degree costing more than $60,000 from the Whitehouse Institute of Design where an Abbott donor sits as chairman on the board of governors, Guardian Australia can reveal.
The revelation raises questions for the prime minister over whether the scholarship should have been declared on his interests register.
The Coalition government is also under pressure over changes to higher education funding announced in the budget.
Frances Abbott undertook a bachelor of design at the Whitehouse Institute of Design in Sydney from 2011 to 2013. Guardian Australia has confirmed that she received a scholarship during her time at the institute.
“Frances definitely was a student with us and received a chairman’s scholarship,” Leanne Whitehouse, director of the Institute told Guardian Australia. She declined to detail how many times the “chairman’s scholarship” has been awarded previously, but the institute’s website makes no references to the scholarship and states the institute “does not currently offer scholarships to gain a place into the Bachelor of Design”.