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09 May 2012
Aspiring lawyer, Chris Nation can look forward to a lifetime of free tuition, as he has been chosen as the winner of the first Lifetime Scholarship from Cardiff University. Chris, who is 18 years old, was awarded the scholarship for proving his academic ability, skill and commitment during the Thrive Challenge, which involved a series of tests and activities designed to identify the most exceptional applicant to the University.
The Lifetime Scholarship supplements the University’s packages of bursaries and scholarships for students and has been fiercely contested with 500 students from the UK and EU applying to be considered. Over the last five months the Thrive Challenge has become progressively more difficult, testing prospective students’ academic ability through online tests, as well as giving them a chance to express their creativity and personality by producing an online video.
To decide on the winner, six finalists were invited to an assessment day at Cardiff University to take part in a group challenge, one-to-one interviews and to give a ten minute presentation on the subject they have applied to study. Chris impressed judges with his presentation on some of the most controversial and topical legal issues including super-injunctions and human rights, concluding with a moral scenario to challenge the audience. Chris used humour to ensure the presentation was light-hearted and engaging, while also tackling some serious topics.
With the introduction of higher fees for university tuition this year, the Lifetime Scholarship is worth much more than the value of Chris’s undergraduate fees, currently £27,000 for a three year course. Chris already has his sights set on a PhD and with legal practice training, the value of the Lifetime Scholarship soars to in excess of £50,000.
Cardiff University has also awarded all six finalists in the Thrive Challenge a Cardiff University scholarship of £3,000 towards their living costs at Cardiff University. In addition Samsung has generously agreed to provide all finalists with a Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook™ at the start of their studies. The finalists will also have University sports membership for free throughout their undergraduate degree.
Professor George Boyne, Chair of the Undergraduate Recruitment Campaign and Dean of Cardiff Business School said: "Congratulations to Chris who is a worthy recipient of the Lifetime Scholarship. He embodies the spirit of the Thrive Challenge and the values of the University. It was a really tough decision as all the finalists impressed the judges.
"Cardiff University attracts some 30,000 applicants for 4,500 undergraduate places each year. We launched the Challenge to generate extra excitement around Cardiff University’s 2012 undergraduate recruitment campaign, Thrive, and to recognise the quality of applicants we continue to attract each year. It has been a resounding success and we were hugely impressed with the calibre of the entrants and particularly the six finalists. It was an extremely hard decision but Chris stood out. We look forward to building on this success and attracting the most talented students in 2013 and beyond."
Chris said: "I always like a challenge and the Lifetime Scholarship is an amazing prize due to the rise in fees this year. The hardest part for me about the Challenge was making the video as I shot it in lots of different locations and then the editing took longer than I had expected. I wanted to make the video funny but also wanted to show that I have a serious side – so I tried to make it a good balance of the two.
"I was impressed by how modern and switched on Cardiff University is – it has a nice student feel to it. The law course at Cardiff is also really good and has all the modules I am looking for. I have wanted to study law for as long as I can remember. It is really interesting and always changing so there are always new and controversial issues to look at.
I have really enjoyed taking part in the Thrive Challenge and I am thrilled to have won the Lifetime Scholarship. While it has definitely been hard work, I was determined to do my best as the scholarship is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will give me so much freedom not only to make the most of my first degree in law, but also to continue studying later in life. I’m really excited to be studying at Cardiff University whose reputation as one of the UK’s best universities for overall experience is renowned."
The Thrive Challenge was open to all undergraduate students from the UK and EU applying to Cardiff for 2012 entry. All finalists have a firm offer from Cardiff University and must fulfil the academic terms of their offers with their exam results to receive the scholarships.
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