Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a UHI partner College, today announced a major boost to scholarship funding for students enrolling on the College's expanding degree programme. As from this September five new annual scholarships of up to three thousand pounds per student, per year, will be made available through the newly initiated "Letterewe Scholarships".
These scholarships have been made possible through the personal donation of £75,000, the College's largest individual donation to date, from Dutch environmentalist/ecologist Paul Van Vlissingen, whose family own Letterewe estate, and his partner Caroline Tisdall. The donation has been made in recognition of their admiration for the work of Sabhal Mòr and for the important role that the College plays in the regeneration of the Gaelic language and culture.
Caroline Tisdall, who is also a visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes University and a trustee of the John Muir Trust said today, "Paul and I have long admired the crucial work which is taking place at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in relation to the regeneration of the Gaelic language and culture. We see this very much in the wider context of understanding and underpinning the links between the indigenous culture and the natural world. Language and culture determines a great deal of how we relate to the world of nature and it would be a tragedy were this to be lost to future generations. As committed conservationists we see this integral relationship of language ,culture and the environment as being of vital importance."
Donnie Munro, Director of Development at the College today said, " We are delighted to receive this major financial boost which will enable students coming to Sabhal Mòr to have the opportunity of accessing up to £3000 per year of scholarship funding."
Eilidh Nicholson, of Portree, a second year student at the College said, "This type of scholarship really makes Sabhal Mòr Ostaig an attractive option for potential students and I'm sure will increase the interest in the excellent range of degree courses which are currently available through the medium of Gaelic."
Tisdall, whose family were Mackenzies from Gairloch and Van Vlissingen both spend a great deal of their time working in the field of conservation both at Letterewe and through various projects world-wide, including working with Nelson Mandela and the new South African Government, on a major conservation and national parks project. They have also in recent years supported the work of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Centre in Tobermory and the Gaelic Section of the Gairloch Museum.
Students wishing to apply for study at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and a "Letterewe Scholarship" should apply in writing to :
Student Recruitment Administrator
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig
Isle of Skye