Student News and Events

News and events for University of Brighton students

Roch McLean, The Streamline Taxis Nursing (Mental Health) BSc (Hons) Breakthrough Award winner

Award-winning students celebrate their achievements in 2018

On the evening of Tuesday 4 December 2018, the university held its fourth annual Celebration Event at the Huxley Building on the Moulsecoomb Campus.

Over 150 guests comprising students, staff, alumni, donors and supporters came together for an important occasion, hosted by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris, and organised by the Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement team. All attendees were there to recognise and applaud the efforts of a range of students who received awards for outstanding efforts (both academic and co-curricular) during the last academic year. These included the university’s merit scholarships, international scholarships, employability and enterprise grants, sport scholarships, school prizes, funding from Santander Universities and the Breakthrough awards.

In addition to recognising the achievements and success of our prize winners, the event also provided a great opportunity to highlight the importance and the impact of philanthropy, given at all levels and in a range of forms, from financial gifts, to those given in time, such as mentoring.

During the evening, a number of the student recipients spoke about their experiences, and the impact the prize has had to them as individuals, plus donors shared their reasons for giving.

Jeff Cronkshaw, an alumnus and donor of the University said:

“Being asked to talk at the celebration event was a lovely gesture by the University. Sharing my student-to-donor story is a great privilege and one that I really enjoy giving. The annual event is a touching moment to hear from the diversity of personal reasons that alumni, organisations, and private individuals have for giving back, I look forward to the next one!”

Roch McLean, a current student (pictured above) said:

“It was a privilege to be part of the event, and a pleasure to meet my sponsor, James Wright from Brighton & Hove Streamline Limited, and for him to see what a difference the award has made to me. I spoke at this event because it was really important for me to acknowledge the help and support that made it possible for me to achieve the grades that led to me receiving the award. And because I wanted to raise awareness of the inequalities that trans people face that has emerged as a result of the research I am currently undertaking. The trans community has provided me with members of my chosen family, and it is important for me to use my privilege to raise awareness of the issues with which my community faces, in order to drive attitudes and policy change that can help improve their experiences and outcomes.”

During the 2017-18 academic year, just under £370,000 was allocated in the form of 310 individual awards, with the vast majority of these having been made possible thanks to philanthropic donations given by alumni, friends, organisations and charities. Student prizes include:

  • Breakthrough Awards: Prizes given to students, usually in their second year, for outstanding performance on their academic course or in their enterprise activities.
  • Merit Scholarships: Awards given to undergraduate students who have achieved the highest marks in their degree course in the first, second or third (but not final) year of study.
  • Governors’ Prizes: Awarded to students who have faced challenges during their university journey but who achieve one of the top ten undergraduate final year marks across the whole university.
  • Forward Bound Scholarships: Awards given to outstanding candidates from low or lower middle income countries wishing to study for a Masters in Health Promotion.
  • International Scholarships: Given to new students embarking on undergraduate or postgraduate courses with us who have demonstrated exceptional academic performance and who articulate a commitment to their areas of study and to the university.
  • Sports Scholarships: A scheme that helps students develop their full sporting potential by giving the support required to train and compete at the highest level whilst achieving an academic qualification.
  • Employability Awards: Prizes that help eligible students take up unpaid work experience or voluntary work, thereby improving their future chances of securing employment, establishing their own enterprise or pursuing further study.

Although a number of the prizes above are achieved through a competitive process, many are awarded based on achievement, hard work and initiative without an application, such as the Breakthrough Awards, merit scholarships and Governors’ Prizes.

Here is what previous prize winners have to say:

“Words cannot even explain how grateful I am to the University for giving myself the chance to undertake the degree and prove to myself that your background does not define you. This Award is incredible and I’m at a loss of words, thank you for making it possible. And I sincerely hope it is continued so that students like myself know that all the obstacles and difficulties have been recognised. I look forward to continuing my academic career at the University of Brighton when I start my PhD in September.”
Luke Middleton, The Governors’ Prize.

“Much of the academic work I undertook that resulted in my performance being rewarded has focused on improving the experiences of transgender patients and service users within healthcare. As part of my own journey, I have recently undertaken a gender-affirming procedure. Recovering from this has meant I cannot undertake work, so this award has been able to compensate me for wages I have lost out on. I also imagine awards such as this play a role in offering further financial assistance to my colleagues affected by the removal of NHS bursaries.”
Roch McLean, The Streamline Taxis Nursing (Mental Health) BSc (Hons) Breakthrough Award

“The first year of midwifery has been both a huge challenge and a privileged experience, which has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. The unique demands of changing practice placements and academic requirements make it very difficult to balance paid work with this course and so this merit-based scholarship has been a lifeline for me, allowing me to dedicate myself fully without the plague of financial anxiety. It is not possible to fully express my gratitude but please know that this scholarship has been genuinely transformational for me”.
Isobel Kaye, Merit Scholarship

“I have been able to thrive throughout my university experience so far because the scholarship scheme has been there to support me through all of my studying, racing and training. They cover all aspects of support that you could imagine and make sure I am fulfilling my potential. The staff are fantastic and I feel very lucky to be part of the scholarship programme.”
Harriet Dodd, University of Brighton Sports Scholarship

For further information, please email

Robin Coleman • 14 December 2018

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