Student success

Our students continue to be our finest ambassadors, achieving success and industry recognition at national and international level. Here are some examples of their achievements.

Abdullah Alotaiq was named Student of the Year in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the University community. A student in The School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment, Abdullah led the Caledonian Muslim Association (CUMSA) and is committed to supporting students and the wider community through volunteering and fundraising.

More of our students were given the opportunity to realise their dreams and ambitions with Magnus Magnusson Awards including Dearbhla Ahern, who will travel to the Philippines as a volunteer occupational therapist, Adam Dow, who has started his own social enterprise to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, Gordon Howie, who will use his award to take up an internship at an animation studio in New York, and Team GB canoeist Victoria Murray.

Applied Games students helped negotiators at a global conference understand climate events that could dramatically change the planet. They developed Earth Remembers for climate-change negotiators at the Conference of Parties negotiation in Bonn, Germany, and presented again at COP 24 in Poland.

The School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment’s Yves Magdalena-Grace Agnew, Rebecca Barrett MacKenzie, Emma Callaghan, and Holly Kay were invited to join The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ Rising Stars programme.

Jayde O’Connor delivered a powerful speech on widening access at Holyrood. Jayde spoke at a Universities Scotland event to an audience including the then Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville about her experiences and the barriers she has overcome to study in higher education.

GCU Law Clinic won the Pro-Bono category at The Law Awards 2018. The student-led clinic offers help to people who do not qualify for legal aid and cannot afford professional advice. All of the advice provided by the team of student volunteers is supervised by a qualified legal practitioner. The clinic opened a drop-in base in the Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow for 10 weeks between February and April this year.

GCU London’s Gaia Antonaci won the prestigious International Business School Award for International Excellence. She competed against more than 300 entrants from 20 universities around the world in the competition that recognises a student who “distinguishes themselves and demonstrates exceptional ambition, and devotion to the development of their academic and professional pursuits”.

And the Talented Athlete Support Programme continued to support our most promising sportspeople. Beneficiaries included GCU Sportswoman of the Year runner Jill Cherry, a member of the Great Britain U20 4 x 400m relay team, whose achievements in 2018 include winning the Senior Scottish 600m Indoor Championship and the British under 20 indoor 400m, and GCU Sportsman of the Year Ciar Pringle, who took gold in the men's badminton doubles and men’s singles bronze at the Scottish Universities Championships and reached the quarter-finals of the men's doubles in the British Universities Championships.

More than 50 years after completing his undergraduate degree in politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University, Dr Les Huckfield graduated with a PhD from GCU. The former Labour government minister was once the youngest MP to be elected to Westminster but became our oldest PhD graduate at the age of 76.

Students’ Association President Rachel Simpson also graduated this year, earning a Post Experience Certificate in Supporting Learning and Student Engagement.