University offers new awards for talented students
(1 September 2008)
Durham University has launched 25 new scholarships for excellence, aimed at talented students who successfully apply to study here.
The competitive scholarships, worth £3,000 per year, will reward students who can demonstrate national and international excellence in sport, music or the performing arts. The Vice-Chancellors’ Scholarships for Sport, Music and the Performing Arts are the first of their kind at Durham and some of the most generous in the country. The scholarships are part-funded by generous contributions from Durham alumni who themselves benefited from the rounded education provided at Durham University. Scholarship students will be able to use the awards to pay for sporting equipment, travel, lessons and other expenses associated with developing their activities at a national and international level. The students, who can study in any academic department, will also have to meet Durham’s high academic standards to gain a place on their course of choice, and will be expected to represent the University in their respective fields. Durham University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Christopher Higgins, studied violin at the Royal College of Music before taking his degree and led the University orchestra while a botany student at Durham in the 1970s. He explained: “At Durham University we aim to nurture and develop future leaders in a variety of fields, through offering wide-ranging opportunities for personal development as well as developing academic excellence. “Our students are already amongst the most active in the country in the areas of sport, music and performing arts. “The purpose of these awards is to help the most talented men and women to come to Durham University by providing public recognition of their excellence above and beyond their academic abilities, and providing an important financial contribution to continuing these activities at national and international level.” Durham University already enjoys a leading reputation in sport, music and performing arts. Durham University, despite its relatively small size, was ranked 4th of 153 universities in the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) in the 2007-8 season, and has been the leading University in rowing by some margin for the past four years. Graduates include international rugby captains, Will Carling and Will Greenwood, triple jumper and Olympic gold medallist, Jonathan Edwards, and England cricket captains Nasser Hussain and Andrew Strauss. Four Durham graduates competed in this year’s Olympic rowing finals in Beijing, Steve Rowbotham (bronze medal), James Clarke, Louisa Reeve, Alice Freeman, as well as several North East residents who trained with Durham University. Durham Student Theatre has over 700 active members spread across 40 theatre companies, and the University hosts more than 60 student theatrical production companies. Underpinning this is the Department of English Studies, which is consistently ranked first in the country and has major research and teaching strengths in the academic study of drama. The University has a strong Music Department, and leading British composers such as James McMillan and Anthony Payne have Durham degrees. Very popular public concert series, such as Musicon, feature leading international musicians. Student musical choirs and orchestras regularly go on national and international tours. The National Youth Choir now has its headquarters in Durham and the University has a strong partnership with The SAGE Gateshead. There are also Choral Scholarships with the Cathedral Choir available. Students wishing to apply for the scholarships should visit the University website http://www.dur.ac.uk/undergraduate/finance/vc_scholarships/ . The deadline for applications is November 10. The scholarships will be awarded by a panel headed by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching, Professor Anthony Forster, and final decisions are expected in December 2008.