Friends of GCU

Education has the power to change lives - that’s why we work with all our students to help them reach their potential. Through generous donations to the GCU Foundation, we provide opportunities and experiences that help level the playing field for students joining us from more challenging backgrounds.

This year, donations to the Foundation have enabled us to support more than 200 widening access scholarships and awards, as well as the thousands of students benefitting from grants to our clubs and societies and award-winning outreach programmes. We awarded nearly 20 seed funding grants to help students and recent graduates start up new businesses. Thousands more benefited from access to cutting-edge equipment and a number of funded internships were also made available.

These awards can be truly life-changing and help shape the future of the students who benefit from them. Here’s what some of the students who benefitted from philanthropic awards in 2018 said about our support.

Donald McIntyre is studying BSc Pharmacology and joined a group study trip to the African Leadership College (ALC) in Mauritius, a GCU international partner.


I will remember it for the rest of my life. I was able to meet some amazing people and, coming from a small town with very little diversity, it has opened my eyes that there is so much out there for me to experience.

Donald McIntyre
BSc Pharmacology student

BA (Hons) International Fashion Branding graduate Emma Russell received a retailTRUST and Hammerson Seed Funding Award to help develop her business, pplrstrange.

The grant will enable me to grow my business a lot quicker than anticipated. It will help me bring out a new collection and fund extra stock. I really appreciate the faith that retailTRUST, Hammerson and GCU have in me and my business idea; it honestly means the world.

Emma Russell
BA (Hons) International Fashion Branding graduate

Other recipients included wild water racer Victoria Murray, who is studying BSc Computer Games Art and Animation and received a 2018 Sir Alex Ferguson Magnusson Award to help buy a canoe to allow her to continue competing at an international level.

Our staff and students were thrilled to hear of the amazing progress  Foundation donor Sir Alex Ferguson CBE has made over the past few months following his health challenges earlier in the year. Passionate about providing opportunities to young people, the Sir Alex Ferguson Scholarship and Awards Fund has already supported nearly 100 students.

I would like to thank everyone at GCU for their messages of support and good wishes which resonate very strongly with me. I get great pleasure from seeing the progress of the students I support, watching their confidence grow and hearing about the various experiences and opportunities they have been exposed to as a result of the Awards. I hope to see you all very soon and all the best.

Sir Alex Ferguson CBE