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Winning Students funding applications open for student athletes

Individual sporting students at The Open University (OU) in Scotland can apply for financial support for 2017/18 to Scotland’s national sports scholarship programme, Winning Students.

Winning Students logo

Applications are open to current students and to school leavers preparing to start their studies in September 2017, and must be made by Wednesday, 19 April.

As the leading provider of part-time higher education in Scotland, The OU in Scotland’s flexible, supported open learning is well-suited for elite athletes with demanding schedules. 

Winning Students scholarship funding – up to £6000 per year - can help students achieve their sporting and academic goals. 

Applications are now being sought for Individual Scholarships, which apply to athletes competing in individual and small combination sports such as athletics, gymnastics and weightlifting.

To be considered for support, applicants should meet the general selection criteria as well as the performance levels outlined on the Winning Students website.

Karen DarkeStudents competing in badminton, canoeing, curling, football, golf, hockey, judo, orienteering, rowing, swimming, tennis and triathlon should not apply for Individual Scholarships, as athletes in these sports are nominated directly by the appropriate governing body of sport.

Winning Students currently supports more than 150 students, with individual scholars including Paralympic cycling champion, Karen Darke, who is studying psychology and Spanish through The Open University in Scotland.

Karen (pictured right) said: “Winning Students gave me the opportunity to change my academic focus and it’s great to get advice about the direction of my studies as a scholar athlete. As part of the programme I am lucky enough to be given flexibility when it comes to studying and competing and it’s much easier to manage when the people you’re working with understand the pressures and can help co-ordinate solutions. 

“As an athlete, it’s not enough just to be physical all the time and I find studying offers a good outlet from training. The support from Winning Students has allowed me to combine competing with my studies which is vital as I can continue training at the highest level whilst keeping in mind what I might do in the future after sport."

Winning Students is funded by the Scottish Funding Council and run by the University of Stirling as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence.

Jason Atkins, Winning Students Programme Co-ordinator, said: “Individual Scholarships provide student athletes with the funding and academic flexibility to combine sport and study effectively. I would urge applicants to consider the criteria and complete a nomination form as soon as possible.”

Find out more and apply now at 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 15:30