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Alumni group bursaries providing life-changing opportunities for students

Thanks to bursaries offered by regional UK alumni groups, students are undertaking life-changing placements related to their studies.

The Cornwall alumni group, OUS Cornwall, is one of several which offers annual bursaries to current students from their area this year. Cornish clinical medical student Talullah Shepherd (pictured left and also far right on placement in Nepal) was among those to benefit, gaining experience of obstetrics and gynaecology and working in accident and emergency on placement in Nepal and Malta.

OUS Cornwall bursary secretary Fenella Wojnarowska explained how the group has benefited as much from the scheme as students:

‘We felt that, having gained so much ourselves from subsidised Oxford University educations, we should help students from Cornwall, who now have to be self-funding,’ she said.

‘The bursary scheme offers from £250 to £500 for students to broaden the understanding of their subject, perform internships and go on medical electives abroad. We also offer one to promote the understanding of Cornwall and Cornish culture and heritage, which is open to all undergraduate and graduate students. We give out about £2,000 a year.

‘We have recently extended the scheme to give school students a taste of Oxford to encourage them to raise their aspirations and realise that they too can study there.

‘The students appreciate these bursaries and are incredibly grateful as the comments we received from our most recent recipients show.’

The group also awarded a bursary to St Hugh's clincal medicine student Benjamin Patel (pictured right, with his mentor Daniel Allam, a reconstructive surgeon in Hawaii) and Worcester clinical medical student Michal Woyton (pictured below) to fund medical electives abroad.

Read the students’ full reports.

Fenella said the alumni had achieved a sense of purpose through raising money for and awarding the bursaries.

‘It gives a focus to social events and adds altruism to our enjoyment of them,’ she added.

‘The reports we receive are a pleasure to read as it keeps us in touch with current students.

‘We would very much encourage other alumni groups to do the same and are happy to give them help and advice.’

To find out more, please email Fenella Wojnarowska or Richard Cockram at OUS Cornwall.