Aberdeen University has launched a new award scheme aimed at encouraging the north-east’s best and brightest teenagers to follow their academic dreams regardless of their background.
Principal George Boyne announced plans for the Principal’s Award of Excellence last night during a gathering attended by head teachers from secondary schools across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
The award will be presented annually to one pupil at National 5 Level and one at Higher level, in recognition of “excellent overall academic potential by a pupil planning to attend university”.
Professor Boyne, who is from Aberdeen and is a double graduate of the university he now helms, hopes the distinction will help children from poorer backgrounds to secure a place at a higher learning establishment.
He said: “This university was founded to serve the people of the north-east, with the guiding principle that it should be open to all.
“With this in mind, we have created the Principal’s Award to recognise and encourage local school pupils with the potential and ambition to reach university to keep striving for this goal, no matter their background or individual circumstances.
“While the university already works in partnership with local schools on a wide range of initiatives aimed at encouraging participation in higher education, we are actively working to forge closer links as we aim to increase our profile in the local communities that we serve.”
As well as being presented with a certificate from the university marking their achievement, the award winner will also receive a £50 gift voucher.