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Robert Reid Bursary recipients meet founder of the fund

14 May 2015


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L-r: Clair Gamble, Professor Derek Reid and Allan Walls

The recipients of this year’s Robert Reid Bursary – for students at Abertay University – recently met with the founder of the fund, Professor Derek Reid.

Professor Reid 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 Clair Gamble and Allan Walls, who are studying Nursing and Ethical Hacking, respectively.

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Speaking about how the bursary has helped, Clair Gamble said:

“I tend to work every weekend and the workload of third and fourth year, along with family commitments, meant that I was often working seven days a week with no free time. After the third summer in a row of being on full time placement as part of my degree, the workload and the strain of living on such a low wage were beginning to overwhelm me, but I couldn't afford to take any time off from my job as I have family commitments that require lots of driving, hence, lots of petrol money.

“I applied for the bursary as I felt that having some extra money would give me the option of taking a few days off here and there which would allow me time to rest and recover. I also felt it would benefit me in that I would be able to begin putting some of my wages into savings for the summer months.

“When I was awarded it, it was a huge relief as it meant I could take some time off over Christmas to rest and enjoy being with my family. Having the extra money has meant that I've not had to work so many shifts this semester and can spend more time with my family and friends. In turn, I have also had more time and energy to put into my coursework which, being fourth year and given my future aspirations, is incredibly important to me at the moment.”

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For Allan Walls, the bursary has been equally important:

"The bursary has made a huge difference to me this year. I applied for it to help with my travel and household costs as I live 20 miles away from university and have children to look after as well.

"It really helped to reduce my financial worries, making it possible for me to focus fully on my studies. It also made it possible for me to use the university facilities - such as the library and ethical hacking labs – outwith class hours.

“It was great to meet with Professor Reid. He was really interested in what we’ve 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 Chairman of the Carloway Mill – one of only three mills in the world approved by the Harris Tweed Authority to produce Harris Tweed and use the official Harris Tweed Orb. He is also a 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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