University of Bedfordshire students who have demonstrated excellent academic achievement and potential in the face of personal hardship were today given a helping hand by the Steel Charitable Trust.
A ￡1,000 bursary was awarded to 25 of the University’s final-year students who live locally and who, despite facing incredibly challenging personal circumstances, have continued to work hard and achieve outstanding academic excellence.
The University’s Vice Chancellor Bill Rammell said at the presentation of the bursaries: “You have been awarded this bursary because we believe in your potential, and we believe you are capable of achieving great things.”
The Steel Charitable Trust has been associated with the University for over 20 years. During that time the Trust has provided an endowment to finance the Powdrill Chair in English Language Acquisition at the University until 2020 - the School of Education and English Language was recently ranked 7th in the country in the Complete University Guide.
The Trust also sponsors a PhD studentship currently held by Rebecca Garcia, and has funded bursaries for 250 undergraduate students. Since the establishment of the Bursary Scheme, another local donor has come forward to provide funding for co-curricular placement activities with companies in the Luton area.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Nicholas Wright, the Chairman of the Trustees of The Steel Charitable Trust, said: “Education is an important part of our funding activities, and the Trust is very pleased to continue to be associated with the University in support of such bursaries and is delighted that the students continue with their studies and achieve such high standards.”
Recipients this year included Kimberley Brown, an outstanding student who, as well as being a single parent, has had to cope with a nervous system and muscle weakening condition. She said: “This bursary makes me feel that the University are aware of student’s hard work and are connected and caring enough to help towards educational attainment of students who work hard.”
Sarah Jane Holden, who is aiming for a Masters Degree in Social Justice whilst battling various mental health conditions and looking after her two children, said on receiving her award: “I feel exceptionally proud and thankful and can’t quite believe I have been selected. The money will help to relieve stress for me and my children and enable me to focus better on my studies and strive for a first class degree. Thank you again.”
William White looks after three young children whilst on a low income and pursuing a university education; he has ambitions to work in a role that promotes social justice. He’s particularly interested in social inequalities in education. He intends to use his bursary towards a new laptop, printer, paper and ink.
William said: “It has really given me not only a financial boost but a big moral one too. I shall hopefully take advantage of the opportunity the bursary affords me to equip myself with the necessary IT to complete my degree and support my studies going forward.”
The Steel Charitable Trust was established in 1976 by the late Mr and Mrs Walter Reginald Steel, who had lived in Luton for almost all their lives. As well as the education sector, the Steel Charitable Trust provides grants in the following areas: arts and heritage, environment, health, and social or economic disadvantage. Applications for grants from Bedfordshire generally and Luton in particular are welcomed.
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