Development & Alumni Relations Office 


31 March 2017

In the first of a series of articles, we look at the impact that philanthropic scholarships make on the lives of recipient students. Future reports will examine University and corporate scholarships and hear from individual donors to find out what motivated them to support Queen’s through a scholarship gift.

Education and success go hand-in-hand. It makes a huge difference to people’s lives, equipping individuals with the knowledge and intellectual experience needed for later life. More than anything else, however, as Queen’s Centenary graduate Nelson Mandela once said: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.’

Sadly for many, the success which education offers is impossible without a scholarship. Whether directly funded by the University (which we will examine in a future article) or backed by a philanthropic gift from a business or individual donor, scholarships impact on the present and resonate well into the future.

Raising aspirations

Scholarships change lives. An investment in a person’s future they provide talented and deserving students with the chance to gain the lifelong benefits of a Queen’s education. They are also an investment in Northern Ireland, because businesses are attracted to our region because of our people. They recognise the knowledge, abilities and values instilled in tomorrow’s leaders throughout their education.

Regularly enabling the recipient to study abroad, scholarships enhance student skills and employability as individuals acquire cross-cultural communication and analytical skills, flexibility, resilience and the ability to adapt to new circumstances. These essential skills equip them for the global economy and global citizenship.

And scholarships are also an important investment in the University, helping us to keep Queen’s accessible for future generations. They raise the aspirations and confidence of talented young people from all backgrounds, unlocking potential, attracting individuals who will then go on to contribute to Northern Ireland’s success around the world. They give bright students the chance to change the world – for the benefit of all.

Making a difference

Often, scholarships are made possible by people who want to ‘give back’ to celebrate and recognise their own personal success or the achievements of someone they want to be remembered. For many of our supporters the ability to help individuals to achieve their potential is a very rewarding experience.

And for award recipients, a scholarship can open up a range of previously unthought-of possibilities, removing the stress and anxiety of funding and, often, making the difference between studying at Queen’s or not.

To explain the personal significance and impact of scholarships on individuals we spoke to a number of those involved.

Ann Browne MA Scholarship

The inaugural recipient of the Ann Browne MA Scholarship was Aylisha Hogan from Wallasey, near Liverpool.

Ann Browne was born in 1949 in Strabane and died of cancer on 29 January 2000. She read Spanish at Queen’s and took an MA at London’s Institute of Latin American Studies. To honour her memory and spirit the Browne family set up the MA scholarship, granted annually to an outstanding applicant of The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice Masters Programme.

“Receiving the Ann Browne MA Scholarship has meant a great deal to me,” said Aylisha. “I am so grateful to Ann Browne and her family for sponsoring this award. Their generosity has enabled me to stay in Belfast and continue studying something I am passionate about. I hope to do the scholarship justice by pursuing a career in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice.”

James MacQuitty Law Scholarship

The James MacQuitty Law Scholarship is the largest available in the School of Law. It is designed to assist graduates to undertake a Master’s degree at Queen’s in a law or law-related subject.

Andrew Godden is a MacQuitty Law Scholar. Talking to Donor News last year he said: “Through the generosity of the MacQuitty family, I’ve been able to follow my LLB studies by enrolling on the LLM in Law and Governance at Queen’s. This has allowed me to take my academic skills to a whole new level, so much so that I was given a job as a Research Assistant on an educational project here at the School,” said Andrew.

And it didn’t stop there; Andrew was also offered a place at the University of Oxford in 2016, but having benefitted so much from his master’s studies, he decided to stay at Queen’s to pursue a PhD.

“None of these achievements would have been possible without the support I received through the James MacQuitty Law Scholarship,” he added.

MA Scholarship in Poetry

Ruth West and her husband Dr Michael West are loyal and generous donors to Queen’s, having supported many projects including the refurbishment of the Great Hall, the McClay Library, the Brian Friel Scholarship in Drama and the Michael West Fellowship in Astrophysics.

The first recipient of the Ruth West Scholarship in Poetry is Tabitha Buckley, who graduated from Queen’s in summer 2016 with first class honours in English and Creative Writing.

“I spent a great deal of time worrying about how I could possibly afford to do a postgraduate degree, having spent the majority of my undergraduate degree balancing multiple jobs just to keep my head above water,” said Tabitha.

“The Ruth West MA Scholarship has given me an incredible opportunity to develop as a writer while helping to relieve some of the financial stress I have been under. I can’t wait to see just how far I can go.”

Your help matters

By funding a scholarship you will be supporting the development of a discipline or activity you care about, with a gift which has the potential to have an impact that will reverberate well into the future.

To help ensure that Queen’s University can continue to attract students of ability and potential from a broad socio-economic base, from across the UK and beyond, your help is needed.

In future articles, we will explore the range of University and corporate scholarships and hear from individual donors to see what motivated them to fund a scholarship at Queen’s.

To find out more about funding a scholarship visit the Queen’s Foundation web page or contact Helen Carrick, Head of Major Gifts. Your support could be the first step in changing the world!


Back to Main News









Top of Page