Thursday, August 29, 2013

Announcing this year's TARGETcourses Bursary winners

This spring TARGETcourses ran a competition giving away five bursaries, each worth £2,000 for students pursuing a postgraduate course in the 2013/14 academic year in the UK. 

To enter students had to answer three questions in no more than a total of 1,000 words. This year the questions were:

-          How will postgraduate study contribute to your career goals?
-          How will your postgraduate experience and qualification benefit the community, the economy or indeed any other person or group?

-         Apart from academic knowledge, what else do you expect to learn from postgraduate study?
The competition proved very popular, with more than 1,000 entries. And to make sure every entry was given a fair chance, the TARGETcourses team was busy for more than two weeks thoroughly checking each one. There was even a panel of judges involved!

After all this hard work five worthy winners were announced: Alexandra Khageeva, Kayla Song, Stephanie Watts, Fay Hart and Mahwish Batool.

Judging by the popularity of the competition, it is clear funding is still a major issue when it comes to postgraduate studies. We asked the winners to comment on whether they had found it hard to secure funding elsewhere and their comments highlighted just how difficult it is.

Fay Hart responded, ‘I have found it exceedingly difficult to gain funding elsewhere, as it would seem the majority of bursaries are course-specific, or a steady work placement has been required to contribute to the sponsorship of postgraduate studies.’

Kayla Song said, ‘After I came back from Haiti at the beginning of summer, I realised that all the major funding institutions had already selected their scholars. This made me think seriously about whether to proceed with my application status. Moreover, there were relatively few awards for students coming from North America, which was discouraging.’

So how have our bursaries made a difference?

Stephanie Watts comments, ‘It has made things so much easier and has meant I do not need to work or get a bank loan, which I really didn’t want to do. I did struggle to secure any other funding. There were no scholarships or charity bursaries available from the university that I was eligible for, so it was all my own savings, and that was obviously not enough for the tuition fees and living costs.’
TARGETcourses is very happy to have given five students the opportunity to continue their studies and we do hope this can be repeated next year. However the is a bigger lesson to be learned here. Opportunities are out there and motivation and determination will get you results, as winner Alexandra Khageeva comments: ‘… it is good to know that if you have such a goal as mine and work hard to reach it, there is someone outside who is ready to help you.’

If you are searching for funding, make sure you check out our funding database, the largest funding database in the UK.


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