Northern Regional College is currently inviting eligible higher education students to apply for The Gallaher Trust’s Scholarship for the 2022/23 academic year.
To be eligible, students must be aged 18, have a primary address in the greater Ballymena area and have been offered a place at Northern Regional College for September 2022 to complete a two-year qualification in one of the following subjects: Foundation Degree Engineering; Foundation Degree Business with Digital Technology; Foundation Degree Computing; or Higher National Diploma Creative Media. The Scholarship will cover course fees of up to £2,500 per annum.
In addition to providing financial support to successful students, The Gallaher Trust has linked up with local employers to help improve employment prospects for Scholarship recipients.
Eligible students will be required to complete a selection process prior to receiving any Scholarship Scheme funding. Initial selection will be based on a conditional offer from Northern Regional College, previous academic achievement and a personal statement written by the applicant. The final selection process will comprise of a presentation to a panel of representatives from the College and The Gallaher Trust.
The Scholarship started in 2021, and the first two students to benefit from The Gallaher Trust’s Scholarship Scheme are first year Foundation Degree students, James McIlfatrick and David McGaughey who are studying Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and Computing respectively.
James, who is a former pupil of Dunclug College, Ballymena said the practical aspect of the course really appealed to him.
“I wanted to continue my education after completing A Levels and felt the Foundation Degree at Northern Regional College would be a better pathway for me rather than going directly to university,” he said.
“This two-year course will allow me to progress directly to the second year of a degree in a related subject at university. Although I am still in my first year of the course, I have already learnt new skills and I would recommend the Foundation Degree option and The Gallaher Trust’s Scholarship Scheme to other students.”
Elsewhere, David said that the Scholarship Scheme has enabled him to learn something new, meet new people and grow in confidence.
David added: “I wasn’t really interested in staying on at school to do A Levels as I just wanted to concentrate on computing, so I decided to apply to Northern Regional College when I learnt about The Gallaher Trust’s Scholarship Scheme.
“I’m really enjoying learning about the different aspects of the IT industry and I’m getting a feel for what area I might like to work in in the future.”
David said he would have no hesitation recommending the course and Scholarship Scheme to others.
“If anyone is thinking about applying for a Gallaher Trust Scholarship next year, I would simply say, ‘just do it.’ The Scheme helps with job opportunities and allows participants to get a good start on whatever career path they want to go down while also helping with fees.”
Christine Brown, Vice Principal of Teaching and Learning at Northern Regional College commented: “We are delighted that Scholarship Scheme recipients, James and David, are enjoying their respective courses.
“We partnered with The Gallaher Trust to help more young people in the Ballymena area to gain the skills and qualifications they will need to build successful careers in their chosen area.
“I have no doubt that the scholarships will be invaluable to the successful applicants in terms of helping them develop new skills, getting an opportunity to complete a third level qualification and securing a job in a sector they’re truly passionate about.”
Roy Douglas, a Trustee of The Gallaher Trust’s Board added: “At The Gallaher Trust, our mission is to create jobs, develop skills and provide assistance to those from a disadvantaged background and through the Scholarship Scheme, we’re ticking all of those boxes.
“We want to ensure that the Scholarship Scheme graduates have the opportunity to learn the skills and gain the qualifications they need to carve out a successful career. It’s our hope that the Scheme will serve to create a pool of well qualified and highly skilled young adults who will meet the needs of local employers.
“We’re delighted that James and David are flourishing in their chosen courses, and I would strongly encourage anyone who might be eligible for this year’s Scholarship Scheme to apply.”
The Scholarship Scheme will support six Ballymena students, two per year for three years over a two-year specific subject course. Applications are now invited for the 2022/23 academic year. For more information about the eligibility criteria and the courses available under the Scheme, visit: www.nrc.ac.uk