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The Centenary Campaign: putting students first

Centenary Campaign Students First

21 August 2014

Today’s students are tomorrow’s pioneers. Since the start of the Centenary Campaign in 2003, alumni and friends of the University have donated more than £10 million to support students through bursaries, scholarships and extracurricular opportunities. Here are just a few ways your gifts have helped.

A helping hand

For some young people, the dream of higher education can be just that: a dream. But, thanks to your donations to the Centenary Campaign, schemes like Access to Bristol and IntoUniversity have helped raise the aspirations of thousands of students from less privileged backgrounds.

Access to Bristol gave more than 1,500 A-level students with academic potential, but few role models and little financial resource, the chance to see Bristol University could be part of their future. Students could also apply for financial support for fees and living costs if they went on to enrol at a course in Bristol.

IntoUniversity introduces students to higher education even earlier – some while they’re still at primary school. IntoUniversity Bristol East opened in March 2013, and more than 1,000 young people have participated in workshops run by University lecturers.

Student experience

Once at Bristol, students learn in classrooms, laboratories and libraries – but also on the playing field, in student societies, through fledgling businesses and in competitions.

Over the last ten years, the Alumni Foundation has awarded more than 600 grants to student societies, clubs and independent projects, and given more than 600 students grants to help them travel to – and present their work – at conferences around the world.

Georgia Pilkington (BSc 2009, MSc2011, PhD 2011-) said: ‘A travel grant from the Alumni Foundation meant I was able to attend a symposium at the University of Pennsylvania and present my PhD research in front of world experts. I was subsequently offered a post-doctoral position at John Hopkins University, Baltimore. I’d like to personally thank the Alumni Foundation for facilitating such an important step in my academic career.’

Further education

Today’s undergraduates leave University with considerably higher debts than their predecessors. For many, adding to that debt by pursuing a postgraduate programme is simply not an option.

However, thanks to alumni donations, Bristol is able to offer bursaries and scholarships to promising postgraduate students – students carrying out vital research in areas like climate change, medicine and social responsibility.

For example, the Bristol University Alumni Association in Hong Kong awards a Masters scholarship on the grounds of academic excellence and future potential contribution to Hong Kong. Similarly, the James Dyson Foundation offers five engineering students the chance to work towards a PhD, rather than transferring their skills to other industries.

How you can help

Every donation Bristol receives between now and the close of the Centenary Campaign in December 2014 will have a real impact on current, and future, students. You can make a gift online, or use your alumni update form that is sent with your alumni magazine, Nonesuch, twice-yearly.