Six exceptional science, engineering and maths students have completed their first academic term at the University of Chester as Ultimate Scholars.
The Ultimate Scholarship scheme aims to find the outstanding scientists and engineers of the future. The prize for exceptional applicants wishing to study science or engineering courses at the University’s Thornton Science Park is free university tuition for life.
To apply, applicants needed to have been in receipt of an offer from the university. They then were required to submit a short essay, a CV and a statement explaining why they should be awarded the scholarship. Those who made the longlist then competed to prove their academic ability, skill and commitment during a number of challenges. These included a written submission, one to one interviews and a presentation. After a rigorous enrolment and application process, six students were successful. The lifelong scholarships will cover tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate taught and research degree courses conducted at the university’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.
The successful students are: Stephen Davies (physics with material science); Cameron Downing (electronic and electrical engineering); Emma Dunham (mechanical engineering); Maisie Goodwin (mathematics); James Marszalek (computer science); and Joe Shaw (mechanical engineering).
Stephen Davies lives in Denbigh and has been out of a formal education setting for around 20 years. He said: “I wanted a career change. I have done everything – NHS, local council, but I’ve mostly worked in the automotive sector – working with Bugatti, McLaren… I was working with great vehicles but I thought I wanted to do physics. I had wanted to go to university when I was younger but didn’t get the opportunity. I thought, ‘You only live once’, so I applied! This is my one sole choice, so I am happy that I got in, and then to get the Ultimate Scholarship as well! I’d been doing an access course, so this was the icing on the cake.”
Maisie Goodwin from Halifax said: “I heard about it on an applicant day at the university and I thought that it was worth a shot, so for me it’s worked out well! It’s also been an icebreaker, because I’m meeting the same people I met at my interview day.”
Executive dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering Garfield Southall at the University of Chester said: “With our Ultimate Scholarship Programme we are aiming to raise aspirations among young people and want to help them find their own unique selling point. The scholarships are a great and equal opportunity for our prospective students to show their academic capabilities. Our scholars are students with an outstanding passion and commitment to their chosen subject, who are showing the potential to develop into exceptional university graduates. They come from all walks of life, and are a mixture of ages, so it’s also an opportunity for them to be ambassadors for the university and for our Faculty in general. We wish them every success and look forward to supporting them with their academic studies.”