STUDENTS spoke with pride about how a wide range of scholarships have positively impacted their lives and are helping them to achieve their ambitions.

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Teesside University, Professor Paul Croney OBE, hosted the scholarship celebration on campus.

Generous Teesside supporters from the University’s alumni and business community were in attendance, including Thirteen Group, the Tees Valley Community Foundation, and Ken Home Engineering.

Professor Croney OBE spoke to guests about the impact of the Teesside Transformation Fund – a flagship initiative that breaks down barriers and empowers people to access Higher Education and reach their full potential.

With millions of pounds already invested by the University each year, the ambition is to grow this fund with further support from alumni, foundations and corporate partners.

Professor Croney OBE said: “The Teesside Transformation Fund builds on work already taking place, helping to drive academic ambition, raise aspirations across the Tees Valley, and provide learning opportunities for all.

“We believe in the potential for education to transform lives, open doors, and generate opportunity. Thanks to the support of our generous donors, we can support more students from our region to reach their full potential.

"Our donors are making a difference to the lives of our students, and ultimately our society and our economy.”

Scholars had the chance to meet and network with donors at the event.

Katie Maughan, 22, from Middlesbrough, is a third-year film and television production student and received the Brittan scholarship, which provided £7,500 across her programme of study.

Katie said: “The event was fantastic – it allowed me to reunite with fellow scholars and network with donors who are aiming to open up more opportunities for students. It felt so nice to celebrate our achievements after being unable to meet in person for so long.

“My scholarship has allowed me to focus on my studies without worrying about finances,” she added. “It’s enabled me to set up my own website and fund short films, which allowed me to develop and showcase my work to professionals.”

Leo Conoy, a mature student who studies BSc (Hons) Artificial Intelligence, also received the Brittan scholarship to support him with his studies.

He said: “The impact the scholarship has had on my life has been amazing. It’s made my university journey a lot more stable and secure. I have much fewer worries now, so I can focus on my degree and my education.

“If you are a mature student or if you are an international student, don’t be afraid to go for these opportunities. They are put in place to help anyone of any age, of any background.”

Lonney Phiri studies Health Sciences (with Foundation Year) and has ambitions of becoming a nurse. She received the Thirteen scholarship, which offers financial support to Thirteen Housing residents with ambitions to study at university.

Lonney explained: “Scholarships are important for people like me who don’t qualify for a student loan – it helps us to achieve our goals. My future ambition is to become a nurse and work in the NHS – that’s what I really want to do.”

As part of the Teesside Transformation Fund, the university is now launching 12 new £2,000 postgraduate scholarships to support Teesside University graduates progressing to postgraduate study for September 2022 and January 2023 entry.

Rosie Jones, director of student and library services, explained: “We are continually seeking new ways in which to encourage and enable our graduates to achieve their ambitions, and we believe that these new scholarships will open opportunities that may not have previously seemed possible."

“At Teesside, we are passionate about our students and graduates developing to their full potential. Whichever career pathway they choose, Student Futures and the Alumni team are here to provide support.”

Dean Benson, founder of e-commerce platform Visualsoft and a Teesside University graduate and governor, recently made a personal gift of £50,000 to support future computer science students.

He said: “Scholarships are so important because they give an opportunity to people who wouldn’t normally have had the chance to study at university. I believe that it’s really important for everyone to have an equal chance in life; that’s why I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to support our next generation of tech leaders.”

The university’s scholarship portfolio is expanding rapidly, with a range of new scholarships launching in 2022 including the Beth Mead Scholarship, the Franc Roddam Scholarships, the Kellas Midstream Clean Energy Scholarships and the Jacksons Law Scholarship.

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