Ben Wood

A Level 3 Uniformed Public Services student from East Sussex College Lewes had reason to celebrate during half-term as he was accepted onto a scholarship scheme at the University of Portsmouth.

Ben Wood, who is 17 and lives in the Whitehawk area of Brighton, will be studying BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Studies once he finishes college this year.

The former Longhill High School student is on track to achieve top grades on his course and will benefit from a £5,000 scholarship awarded by the University. Ben has aspirations of joining the police force once he graduates, and after receiving the good news last Monday (12th April), he is one step closer to achieving his dream.

Ben said, “I’m delighted to have been offered the scholarship at the University of Portsmouth. There were a limited number of places, and I’m thrilled to have been awarded one of them.

“I received the email last Monday to say that my application had been successful. I’m so happy and relieved because some of the financial barriers of university have been removed. It means I have more time to study and learn, rather than find part-time work to help with the cost of living.”

It wasn’t until after Ben submitted his application to university that he found out about the Best Begins Scholarship.

“I applied for my course and then received an email from the uni telling me that I had hit their eligibility criteria and that they would like to put my application forward for a chance to be awarded a scholarship. I needed to complete a brief supporting application to demonstrate how studying at the University of Portsmouth and being awarded this scholarship will prepare me for my future.”

To be considered for the scholarship, students must be predicted AAA grades at A-Level, or equivalent grade for vocational subjects, and live in a deprived area of the UK. If successful, the student then receives £5,000 across the duration of their course.

Living in Whitehawk, Ben knows what it is like to grow up in one of the most deprived areas in Brighton. But he is determined to excel at university and join the police force so he can give something back to his community.

“This scholarship will be the springboard for me to achieve great things and to excel at university. I want to give something back and make a difference to my community, and hopefully, I’ll be able to do that as with my future career as a police officer.”

Ben is in the final year of his two-year course and said that studying Public Services at East Sussex College is the perfect starting point for his dream career.

“I decided to study in Lewes because I had a really good feeling about the place, the course, and the tutors during the open day. I just knew that this college would provide me with an ideal starting point for a career in the police.

“My tutors, Carey and Steve, are fantastic teachers. They are determined to help me achieve the best possible grade I can and have been incredible right the way through the pandemic. They believe in us, they motivate us, and want us to pursue our dream careers in the Public Services after college."

There are still a few places left on the Level 3 Public Services courses starting this September in Lewes.

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