Development & Alumni Relations Office 


Chris McDowell and Georgina Copty with Nathalie Trott

17 November 2020

Husband and wife, Chris McDowell and Georgina Copty, have funded a new scholarship to support a student from Palestine, to study a Master’s degree at Queen’s.

Recognising the power of education in transforming lives, the couple wanted to provide an opportunity for a student to gain a Postgraduate qualification in either the School of Law, the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences or the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University.

Georgina Copty grew up in Jerusalem and has seen the challenges that can arise in accessing education; both her and her four siblings benefited from scholarships to attend University. She credits her own experience in higher education and her own benefits from philanthropy as the motivating factors for starting her own scholarship:

“My siblings and I were very fortunate to receive scholarships and other support which enabled us to study overseas and so expand the opportunities available to us. I first studied at Gordon College, Massachusetts and then went on to obtain an MBA degree in South Africa. It was here that I met my husband Chris, a Queen’s Engineering alumnus, before moving to Belfast.

“We both look forward to seeing the scholarship awarded to an applicant next year as someone begins their journey at Queen’s University. I can appreciate that studying abroad can be daunting, however we were reassured by the level of support Queen’s offers International students and the programmes in The Graduate School that support post graduate students.”

They are both strong believers in the power of philanthropy and education, having recently established a CAF Charitable Trust to manage their giving.

Chris, who has previously been involved in supporting the Pathway Opportunity Programme at Queen’s, said:

“We are hopeful that our donation to support this scholarship will have a lasting impact both on the individual recipient but also on what they can offer back to society in return.”

Queen’s currently has over 2,600 international students from 85 different countries and is ranked 22nd in the world for international outlook (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020). The University more widely boasts 17,000 students from over 80 countries around the world.

The Copty Scholarship will be awarded to a Palestinian student at Queen’s studying specific postgraduate taught programmes at in 2021/22. For information and applications, please visit the International Scholarships homepage.

Commenting on the new scholarship, Nathalie Trott, Director of Development and Alumni Relations said:

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to Gina and Chris for their generosity and vision in establishing this scholarship.”

“A scholarship like this fulfils two of the university’s strategic goals – increasing our numbers of International students and Widening Participation, removing barriers to education including financial hardship. Queen’s has seen numbers of international students increase over recent years but we are striving to continue this upward trend. A diverse campus has benefits for all of our students and the Northern Ireland economy, while we are confident that we can provide international students with an excellent education and university experience.

“Donor-funded scholarships are an important investment in the University, helping us to keep Queen’s affordable for future generations who may face financial difficulties or stress. They also raise the aspirations of talented young people from all backgrounds, unlocking their full potential and allowing them to make a difference in the world."

For further information contact Gerry Power.

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