Middlesex students - who have triumphed over adversity, hit academic heights or achieved great sporting success - were rewarded with scholarships at a ceremony held at the University’s Hendon campus.
Over 80 students were presented with the scholarships, which are funded from a range of sources including the University, donations from alumni and from the business world.
Awards such as the Santander Academic Excellence scholarship are designed to reward students with excellent grades. Others, like the Conygar Investments scholarship and the Rise-Up scholarship, provide financial help to people who are the first in their family to get into university or who have succeeded against the odds.
The ceremony is part of the University’s work to ensure higher education is open to anyone with the potential to succeed regardless of their background.
Scholarship recipients included talented local sprinter Jordan Huggins, 19, who enrolled on a Middlesex Business Management degree course after studying at Barnet College. Jordan, who represents Enfield and Haringey Athletic Club, received a Chancellor’s scholarship for sporting excellence, which is helping him aim towards the European under 23 athletics championship and the World University Championship in China this August.
“Things would be much harder without this scholarship as I need to fund my training and physio costs whilst studying and working part time. My aim is to compete internationally for the senior team and you can only do that by performing regularly in tournaments,” he said.
Receiving a ‘Rise-Up’ scholarship was Ruby Smith, 22, from Hemel Hempstead. She overcame significant health problems in order to follow her dreams of getting a university education. “It’s always been my ambition to study art at university but I didn’t think I’d make it after a number of health problems, including emergency surgery for major internal bleeding. My determination paid off and I’m loving my course and feel like I’m now in a good place,” she said.
“I have a part time job but this scholarship means I don’t need to do as many hours, which is important with an art degree where you have to be self-directed and plan your own work."
Event host, Middlesex Deputy Vice Chancellor Melvyn Keen, said: "It's been a difficult time for higher education and sometimes the demonstrations and political rows have obscured the real reason universities are here, which is to change lives for the better.
“It's a pleasure to recognise people who are taking their chances - sometimes against the odds – and becoming living proof of the benefits of learning. I’m also pleased to see scholarships being presented to students from all over the world and to those who have progressed from local schools and colleges like Barnet College, Hendon School and Southgate College."