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Robert Reid Bursary recipients meet founder of the fund at Abertay

1 June 2014

Robert Reid Bursary main

The recipients of this year’s Robert Reid Bursary recently met with the founder of the fund, Professor Derek Reid.

He set up the £20,000 bursary in 2000 in memory of his late father Robert.

Robert Reid came from a poor background and, out of seven children, was the only one who survived.

Despite being awarded a scholarship to study medicine at Aberdeen University, Robert was unable to attend because he had to go straight out to work in order to support his family.

Professor Reid was determined that people who want the opportunity to improve their education should not be stopped in their tracks by a lack of financial support like his father was.

This is what led him to establish the Robert Reid Bursary, the aim of which is to assist Abertay University students who are committed to benefitting from higher education but whose financial situation puts them at a disadvantage.

This year’s recipients were Stephen Young and Jennifer Lynch, who are studying Renewable Energy Technology and Nursing, respectively.

Speaking about how the bursary has helped, Stephen Young said: 

"I’m in my final year at Abertay, and the Robert Reid Bursary has been a huge help to me. I decided to change my career two years ago and to come back to university to gain new skills, which has been a wonderful opportunity.

"This bursary has made a huge difference to me this year, as it has meant that I have been able to buy all the academic books, software and other learning materials that I have needed in order to carry out all my research.

"It has also meant that I’ve been able to go on a number of field trips, which have really helped give a context to my learning.  Field trips and work placements are important to my Honours project, and I wouldn’t have been able to go without having been awarded this bursary, so it’s been wonderful meeting Professor Reid and to have the opportunity to thank him in person."

For Jennifer Lynch, the bursary has been equally important:

"The bursary has made a tremendous difference to me this year. I’m a mature student and have to balance my studies with a part time job to help supplement my bursary from the SAAS.

"I was particularly worried about the summer months, as I need to undertake 21 weeks of nursing placements as part of my course. I can work up to 48 hours a week under the European Working Directives and, over the summer, my placement would take up 37.5 of these. This would leave me with only 10 extra hours for my part time job and, without the Robert Reid Bursary, this would have meant I was often working seven days a week in order to make ends meet, without the chance of seeing my family.

"So, it has been great to meet with Professor Reid. He was really interested in what we’d been doing, our studies and our hopes for the future, and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to thank him in person for all his support."

Applications for next year's bursary will open in October.


Professor Derek Reid is Director of Harris Tweed Textile Manufacturing and Visiting Professor in Tourism here at Abertay.

The Bursary is open to all students, and receives a large number and wide variety of applications each year.

Up to £1,000 is available to each selected applicant, but in some years no award is made, as it must go only to those who will truly benefit from it.

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