Some of Middlesex University’s most talented and committed students were celebrated this month, as the University presented a range of scholarships to recognise their achievements.
Scholarships are one of the many ways Middlesex supports students and the awards are given annually to people who have performed superbly in their studies, achieved significant sporting success or overcome major personal challenges.
This year over 100 students benefitted, with scholarship funds donated by a range of the University's partner organisations or former students.
Donors include Santander bank who award some of the highest achieving students, the Luck Hille Foundation, who support sucessful sports people, and BPR Architects who recognise talented designers.
Many recipients made it to university against the odds, overcoming huge personal challenges. This year they included Oliver Garner, 19, from St Albans, who recently joined Middlesex to study BA Photography.
Oliver’s dedication saw him achieve his ambition to attend University despite missing two years of schooling, spending long periods in Great Ormond Street Hospital with leukaemia. After enduring chemotherapy and two bone marrow transplants, his hard work and determination helped him get his academic career back on track. He said: “I’ve always been creative and art was something I could still do when I was in hospital. My attitude now is to take everything as it comes, give 100% and make the most of my opportunities. I came here to be inspired, and even though it’s hard work I’m enjoying it so far.
“The scholarship is great as it will allow me to buy photography equipment that I otherwise couldn’t afford.”
The University awards a range of sporting scholarships and one of the recipients was talented 110m hurdler Edirin Okoro. The 22 year old psychology student hopes the award will help him achieve his Olympic goals: “This scholarship will really help me as training expenses, travel to competitions and nutrition can be expensive. The Olympics and next year’s European Championships are a big motivation. I am looking towards the games next year, but my main target is reaching the final of the 2016 Olympic 110m hurdles.”
“It’s important to have this psychology degree under my belt so I have another option if my training doesn’t go well or after my athletics career is over. Middlesex is definitely a good environment for sports as the facilities are great and the coaches provide a lot of help.”
Shane Hamilton is studying for an MA in Health Psychology at Middlesex having recently achieved a first in his Psychology with Counselling degree. The mature student spent many years working in the construction sector before deciding the time was right to change direction. "The scholarship is helping me fund my course but it's also a great confidence boost as it shows me that there's recognition that I'm on the right track. After doing my degree here I considered whether to go elsewhere for my masters but decided to stay at Middlesex because my tutors have been really helpful and the University provides a lot of support for mature students.” Shane plans to work with people with long term illnesses after completing his MA.
Middlesex Deputy Vice Chancellor Melvyn Keen hosted the event and announced many of the award winners. He believes providing student support like scholarships is a vital way of rewarding potential: "We are lucky to have many generous partners, friends and former students whose contribution allows us to reward some of the most dedicated students and I’m really excited about what they will go on to achieve.”
"There's no better feeling for the people who fund scholarships than knowing they have helped a talented student through their time at university, and supported them as they prepare to make a great contribution their community after they graduate."
The ceremony took place on Thursday 1 December at the University's Hendon campus.