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Opening a new future

 January 22, 2016 | Simon Jenkins


“If I’d gone to another university I don’t think I could have had such an amazing experience.”

Clair Tighe (Cinema and Photography 2017) has ambitions to become a director of photography, perhaps not a future many would have predicted for a student who spent years in foster care, and now lives with an aunt in east London.

Clair came to the University through the Access to Leeds programme and was awarded a scholarship which opened a wealth of opportunities on campus. “Without that I would have had a completely different experience,” she says. “I would have had to have a job just to pay my rent and I wouldn’t have been able to be involved in University societies or have any sort of social life.”

Clair has thrived at Leeds, and was able to save to join the Study Abroad scheme, spending her third year in the US.

“It’s not fair that some people aren’t able to go to University or have the full experience they should have, based on what their parents do or their family history,” she says.

“Every student should start on the same level – and that’s what a scholarship does.”

Opening a new future