Gaza student sought for new scholarship scheme

Wednesday, 31 March 2010


A student from Gaza in Palestine is being offered the chance to study at Oxford Brookes University thanks to a generous new scholarship scheme.

A student from Gaza in Palestine is being offered the chance to study at Oxford Brookes University thanks to a generous new scholarship scheme.

The project’s first donations were given by Sir Iain Chalmers, an honorary graduate, and Paul Brankin OBE, a university governor and honorary fellow.

Sir Iain knows Gaza well as he practised as a clinician in the region for several years after qualifying in medicine.

Both men have pledged enough money to fund a student for a year. Oxford Brookes is now in discussions with the British Council and others to choose a suitable candidate.

To fund the programme for three years, a total of £60,000 will be needed and those funds are now being sought by the Development Office.

The idea for the scholarship was first raised by Sir Iain and Paul in April 2009 during an Oxford Brookes event in London hosted by the university’s Chancellor Shami Chakrabarti.

Dr Ian Steadman, Development Director, explains: “They are two among many of our honorary graduates and honorary fellows who both support the university and help to guide it in new directions.

“In this case they were keen to see a project established at Oxford Brookes University that would be a sign to the people of Gaza that they are not forgotten, while at the same time providing assistance to prospective students from Gaza and enriching the university’s understanding of and interaction with Gaza.”

He added: “The point about bringing a student here is we learn from them. That’s a very, very important part of the whole process.”

The scholarship fund will be established to bring in – initially – one student each year at graduate level to undertake a course of study leading to the award of an Oxford Brookes Masters degree.

It is hoped the student will work to bring tangible benefits to the people of Gaza on completion of the course.

The first student will start in October 2010. To fund the second year of the project, the monies need to be raised by no later than December this year.

Donations currently attract gift aid so each gift a donor makes attracts an additional 25 per cent. And until July 31 next year the Government is running a matched funding scheme.

If you are interested in discussing how you might contribute to the Gaza fund, please contact Ian Steadman at isteadman@brookes.ac.uk or on 01865 484 877. Alternatively, you can donate quickly and easily online.