Updates from our Vita Bursary winners...
Students Reap the Benefits of University Life
Thanks to anonymous donations five students are now enjoying their first year at universities outside London
Our five Vita Bursary winners, who left the school in the summer, are enjoying their first term at university thanks to generous bursaries provided by anonymous donors.
The Vita Bursary Fund was launched last year by two benefactors who wish to support economically disadvantaged students and give them the means to attend a university of their choice. Following a rigorous application process, five students have each received a bursary of £3,000 to help them cover the costs of living away from home. Thanks to these bursaries these students are now studying at some of the best universities in the country including Cambridge, Warwick and Nottingham Universities.
As their first term draws to a close, the students have written to their teachers at Paddington Academy to share their news. Reflecting on the opportunities the bursary has given him, Qamil Pajaziti, who is studying Medicine at Cambridge University, said:
“I remember trying to think of ways in which the bursary would help me when applying for it but I have found that it has helped me so much more than I could have imagined. I have been drowning in work since I arrived here but I am happy to say that I have been able to form a close group of friends and I have had the opportunity to make these friends because of the freedom this bursary has provided me. I have joined many societies including the Islamic, Afro-Carribbean and Albanian societies and I have had the opportunity to try sports like gymnastics and MMA which I wouldn’t have considered due to the subscription costs.”
Appreciating the opportunities of attending university, Diana David who is studying Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Nottingham, said:
“My university has really high expectations and I am glad that I am attending a university that pushes their students to bring out the best in them.”
Likewise, Jonald Rakipaj who is studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sussex is also reaping the benefits of university life. He said: “Life at university so far is great. I will be trying to make the most of it as well as studying as hard as I can while having as much fun here. These two months have felt like a year so far and I can’t wait to delve deeper into my course.”
Peter Jones, Principal of Paddington Academy, said: “It has been wonderful to hear from the students and find out how they are getting on. It is clear that they have all completely embraced university life and are rising to the challenges it presents such as being independent, managing their work and, above all, making the most of every single opportunity."
“At Paddington Academy, we do not just want students to go to university; we want them to love it and to thrive there. The experiences of these students reminds us of why it is so important for them to go and why we are committed to giving all our students an Education with Character – an education which challenges, inspires and motivates them and gives them the tools to not only go to university but to thoroughly succeed there.”
And the winners are...
At the end of the summer, Paddington Academy was contacted, unexpectedly, by a couple who had looked at our website and our results and wished to donate money for a bursary for some of our Sixth Form students to support them at university.
They have very generously offered to support five students a year, each of them for the entire three years of their degree, at £3,000 each per year. We then devised an application process, following which the donors made their selection from the applications submitted. Students had to be applying to universities outside of London to qualify, as these students are in greater need of financial support to cover accommodation and living costs.
This is an unprecedented opportunity for our students and a very good way of encouraging students to apply to a wider range of universities, to increase their chances of attending a good university and to broaden their horizons. This is particularly the case for girls, who at the moment (according to statistics) are far less likely to apply outside of London than boys.
The five successful students were informed of their award last week. They are: Diana, Qamil, Yunus, Yussef and Jonald.
A very well done to each of them and needles to say how much we appreciate the generosity of such benefactors.
Helping you reach your potential and make a meaningful contribution to the world of work
The Vita bursary aims to enable students to attend universities outside of London and to use their degrees to pursue a meaningful career.
The bursary has been made possible by the huge generosity of two donors who would like to enable students to be able to afford to succeed at university.
Up to 5 students a year will be awarded a bursary of approx. £3,000 a year. Selection will be based on the best applications received. Future payments beyond the first year will depend on the quarterly reports submitted.
Vita bursary selection criteria
To be awarded the bursary, there are qualifying conditions:
1. Attendance of at least 93% during Year 13
2. Punctuality to lessons and school of at least 95%
3. Achieving at least Outstanding or Good attitude to learning grades in each report
4. Evidence of financial hardship through being in receipt of Free School Meals, 16-19 bursary or other evidence of limited household income
5. A confirmed place at a university outside of London where you are living away from home
6. A degree with a vocational link and a plan for how your degree will link to a career after university
7. Willingness to produce a quarterly report on your progress during your time in receipt of the bursary
Vita bursary selection process
The sequence and timeline is as follows:
3. Successful applicants will be informed in May 2018
4. On confirmation of a university place outside London in August 2018, bursary awards will be confirmed
5. After the start of the university academic year in October 2018, the first of two payments will be made, the second in March 2019