FOUR students across Malvern have been recognised by the University of Worcester for their outstanding academic achievements with a £1,000 scholarship each.
Danielle Jones, Ellen Lowe, Sarah Phillips and Lucy Tudor were given the grants for outstanding academic achievement, earned despite the unprecedented circumstances created by the global pandemic.
The awards recognised the students’ achievements throughout the 2019/20 academic year.
Danielle, 22, a former Chase School pupil, is in the final year of a Law degree at Worcester.
She said she was thrilled with the funding which she will put towards her postgraduate studies, enabling her to pursue a career as a solicitor.
“Receiving the scholarship boosted my confidence as an extra recognition of my hard work.
“I will use the award to make myself stand out in applications for graduate jobs in a very competitive field, using it as proof of my achievements.”
Danielle also achieved a Platinum Worcester Award, recognising students’ work experience, university society roles and leadership skills, during her studies and the LLB Prize for Community Engagement 2019.
“Alongside home working during this academic year, I have completed training for a volunteer mentor role in the criminal justice system.
“I hope to help people make positive decisions after involvement with crime, using the skills I have gained during my time at university.”
Ellen, 21, who used to attend Chantry and Hereford Sixth Form College, is in the second year of a degree in Screenwriting with Film production.
For her, the Scholarship is especially significant.
She said: “Considering I started my educational journey at the age of four, being told I’ll never achieve anything – not even a hope of a GCSE – due to my Autism and learning difficulties, I can’t believe that I’ve been able to get to university and receive such an honour for academic success.
“The support I’ve received throughout my life and here at the university has been more than I can ever ask for and I owe everything to my family, school, college and university for believing in me and getting me this far when it seemed impossible.”
For Ellen there have been plenty of positives as well as challenges when it comes to studying in the midst of a global pandemic.
“It’s honestly been incredible to see how much the University have done.
“Having lots of work to focus on and talks with industry professionals to keep us entertained has really helped me in coping with the lockdowns and all the changes.
“The support from the Disability and Dyslexia Service at Worcester has been second to none during all of this too.
“We’ve always received constant communication about what’s going on with the University and how any changes affect our study, which has really helped lessen anxiety.”
Sarah, 55, who is in the second year of a Politics and Sociology degree, said she was absolutely delighted with her award and ‘could not stop smiling’.
“It was hard moving to online lectures in the spring particularly when being at university was still such a new experience.
“I really missed (and still do) being able to meet up with my course mates.
“It’s not quite what I expected being at university would be like, but then I didn’t expect to be doing it in a pandemic.”
Lucy, 48, is studying for a Foundation Degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy with Worcester, delivered in partnership with Hereford and Ludlow College.
She was originally daunted by the prospect of trying to study through the pandemic but admits the difficult circumstances have thrown up opportunities as well as challenges.
“I can remember feeling that I may have to defer as I could not see a way to focus on anything else and trying to grieve through some losses in my immediate family and friends.
However, the college and university turned that around and made the unthinkable work really well.
“The pandemic has lifted the veil to a different dimension of teaching and learning as well as reaching out to clients who are willing to be counselled on different media.
“My confidence in using technology for this purpose has grown immensely and I am comfortable in the ‘new norm’ – switching from face to face to online much more easily.”
University of Worcester Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost, Prof Sarah Greer, said: “We are very proud of each and every student who earned an Academic Scholarship or prize this year, particularly given the unprecedented circumstances of the last year.
“Despite the challenges they have been faced with during the pandemic, these students have proved their commitment to their studies, and we hope this award will inspire them to further academic success.
“These scholarships and prizes will demonstrate to potential employers the outstanding achievements of our students, as well as providing welcome practical financial support and encouragement for the recipients.
“The scholarships and prizes are supported by generous philanthropists, including the University’s distinguished Honorary Fellows, local employers, and many successful graduates of the University.
“We are so grateful to all our benefactors, whose generosity makes such a difference to the lives of our students.”