Four thoughts on the value of a scholarship

Thanks to your support, over 200 students have taken their first life-changing steps here at the University in the last academic year alone. We asked four people from students to staffs each with a different perspective, to share their thoughts on thevalue of a University of Nottingham scholarship.

Zach Jones
Lovemore Mokuele
Emma Szembek
Bob Denison


Zach Jones (Geography, 2018) - Recent Graduate

Even after confirming my place at the University of Nottingham, I was concerned about how I could fund my studies and how this pressure would impact on my experience at University. Receiving the Bartle Simpkins award and the Nottingham Potential scholarship made an incredible difference to my studies and time at this amazing University.

Although I have now graduated, I still haven't left the University. I’m now working in the Widening Participation team helping students with similar backgrounds to me in their progression to higher education. Since taking on this role, I’ve realised the broader value that education can have as a tool for social mobility. It is incredible to see students develop in confidence through their progression to higher education. Central to this process is the financial support we can offer thanks to donors like you. To ensure that University and the opportunities beyond remain accessible to all, it is essential that financial support from bursaries and scholarships are available.


Lovemore Mokuele - Mature Student

I enrolled onto the nursing programme in September 2018 after completing an Access to Higher Education in Nursing and Midwifery course at a local college. At the time I was working full time as a bus driver. It was a mentally, physically and emotionally challenging period for my family as I had to juggle work, assignments, revision and a new-born baby.

I had to work overtime on my days off from college in order to provide for my family. A week before starting university I resigned from my job as a bus driver so I could focus on my studies and avoid the difficulties I faced during my access course.

The University made me aware of the criteria for the Nottingham Potential Scholarship. I applied and was awarded the scholarship which has drastically improved my financial situation and alleviated my worries of surviving as a student. It is helping me realise my potential as a mature student because I can spend extra time on revision, assignments and above all I can afford to take my kids to activities like my son’s football matches on Saturday mornings. 


Emma Szembek - Deputy Director of Student Recruitment (Widening Participation and Outreach)

We have a current focus on outreach with local communities as we build our civic programme, employing the principles of social justice and social mobility. Working with primary school age children and their families in hard-to-reach communities we are determined to bring about cultural change to encourage and support learners at any age, really supporting their journey to university.

The support of our alumni gives us the platform to broaden horizions from an early age, which otherwise would be much more difficult.


Bob Denison (Mechanical Engineering, 1986) - Scholarship donor

Without question university, and the University of Nottingham in particular, is an environment conducive to both academic studies and building lasting friendships (and in my case with my future wife). For me now it is about the passion an individual can bring to university and their chosen subject. A guiding principle in my giving is supporting those who show the flame rather than just the spark – especially those who would otherwise be unable to gain the opportunity.

It is notable how the connection with your university is both permanent and transitory. For many, it is about the grounding university provides to go on and establish a career, butcertainly once I had children and was earningwell, thoughts about the concept of giving backtruly crystallised. Nottingham is a city full of opportunities – mycourse gave me the academic foundation for acareer which I have enjoyed ever since. It is this which strongly inspires me to give back to the institution which gave so much to me

Your support makes a real difference to the lives of prospective students, giving them the confidence to choose Nottingham, whatever their background. You can help students from all backgrounds say yes to their University dream. Give the gift of education.




You may also be interested in:

Changing lives worldwide
See how Cascade is making an impact across the globe

Meet Georgie
One of our scholarship beneficiaries shares her experiences on campus

Maximising opportunities
See how three scholarship students really made the most of their time at Nottingham in different ways