Former Halesowen College students have been recognised for their academic achievements with a special scholarship to support them through their university studies.
Rosie Narrowmore and William Bannister, from Stourbridge, were among a handful of students from the College to be awarded a £1,000 scholarship from the University of Worcester for their results in the 2019/2020 academic year, earned despite the unprecedented circumstances of the global pandemic.
Rosie, who is taking a degree in Drama and Performance and English Literature, said: “I was stunned and felt such a sense of achievement after a difficult year of studying. Receiving this Academic Scholarship allowed me to put some faith back into my studies and has also allowed me to purchase more books to aid my work.”
The Halesowen Scholarship scheme was introduced for the first time this academic year to celebrate the opening of the Halesowen University Centre, an educational and cultural hub run in partnership between the University of Worcester and Halesowen College. The University offered five scholarships to the highest achieving students on A-level, Access to Higher Education or BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma programmes progressing on to its degree courses.
Nineteen-year-old Rosie began her degree in September. “The University of Worcester was recommended to me by several alumni and came highly recommended for wanting to study a Joint Honours Degree – allowing me to continue studying the two fields that I love,” she said. “I knew once I’d had several visits to the campus that Worcester would be the perfect place to continue my higher educational studies, not for only the exceptional facilities but the beautiful city that I would be able to call home.”
She said this year had bought challenges and difficulties to everybody, including students and highlighted the strain on student mental health.
“The University has handled this unprecedented situation with ease and continually provide updates with the ever-changing situation,” she said. “There’s a lot of support that has been made available to us as students which I am personally so grateful for.
“For me personally, the pandemic has altered my outlook on many areas of my life. I have adapted a new mentality that has enabled me to keep pushing myself even when I feel uncertain of what may come.”
Fellow first year student, William, who is studying Film Production, said: “Due to the pandemic, I am not sure how I will spend the award, but I would like to attend a leading film festival at some point in the future when life returns to normal.”
William, of Pedmore, chose Worcester after hearing “many good things about the University”. As lockdown set in last March, William’s college lessons were all delivered online and he completed his coursework from home.
Despite the restrictions of the last year William, who has a disability that includes hearing loss due to a craniofacial condition, has kept himself busy. A month before the first lockdown, he did work experience in Bristol on the BBC See Hear television show, a monthly programme that focuses on the deaf community. During the lockdown, he also raised £600 through a sponsored walk for Headlines, a charity that supports people and their families who have craniofacial conditions, walking 26 laps of his road.
Halesowen College’s Head of Partnerships, Julia Edmunds, said: “I’m so pleased our students’ academic achievements have been recognised by the University. We have a broad and talented student body and am confident the University Centre Halesowen Scholarship model showcases this. Well done Rosie and William!”
To stay up to date with the University Centre Halesowen's free, public lecture series, visit the Halesowen College website.
Pictured: William Bannister and Rosie Narrowmore