The life-transforming power of scholarships

Throughout the history of our University, gifts and legacies have enabled us to establish scholarships, awards and bursaries to support talented undergraduate and postgraduate students – regardless of their background and irrespective of their ability to afford fees, accommodation and living expenses.

In this blog series, students from very different backgrounds describe how the opportunities provided by scholarships have transformed their lives.

Here are the first two.


Nick Daly is currently studying an MLitt in Crossways in Cultural Narratives. This two-year programme is delivered by Erasmus Mundus – a consortium of ten international universities. Nick describes his research and how the Santander MLitt Scholarship has enabled him to make the most of his first time in Europe.

“I began my studies at the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela in Spain and St Andrews is currently my ‘home’ university.  I’ll finish the course at Uni Nova de Lisboa.

“My research focuses on how technology and nature shape our psychological wellbeing and prevent or permit us to connect across cultures.

“Thanks to the scholarship, this is my first time in Europe: a two-year gift to connect with land, people and history. I can build my research skills and hone my voice as a writer. I also get to enjoy important, elemental things: haggis, haddock, tea and a roof.

“I’ve been invested in – quite the honour. This motivates me to be more accountable for my time and to care more about what I learn so that I can support others as I, too, have been supported.

“I thank the folks at Santander, who are now part of my extended tribe.”


Kimberley Morrison graduated in 2017 with a BSc in Cell Biology. She received an Applied Science Scholarship for the duration of the course, and reflects here on the impact this has had on her university experience.

“At the time of writing this I have just graduated with a 2:1. I don’t think this has fully sunk in and I am more than elated!

“This journey has not been easy, but I’ve discovered that nothing of value in life ever is. I have proven to myself that I have what it takes to do whatever I want in life, and that is important to me. Looking back, I realise how much I have developed and grown as an individual. I entered higher education as an anxious, shy girl who was terrified at the idea of socialising. I never thought that university would ever change that, but how wrong I was …

“I am leaving new and improved. I can now talk confidently in front of a group, I have made lifelong friends and the anxiety issues I suffered are (mostly) a thing of the past. This is one of the best things I have ever done with my life.

“I am about to start a one-year masters research course at the University of Dundee in September. I am truly sad to be leaving this University: it has been an amazing life-changing journey that I will forever hold in my fondest memories and look back on in years to come. I don’t know what the future will hold but I go forward feeling hopeful, inspired and determined.

“I hope that one day I can also contribute to a scholarship so that another student can benefit – as I have – in the future.”


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