From education to employment

Welsh student wins rare scholarship visit to top US university

A COLEG CAMBRIA student won a much sought-after place on an illustrious scholarship programme at one of the world’s top universities.

Owain Williams is just one of 11 learners from across Wales to be selected for the two-week summer school at Yale University in Connecticut, US.

The placement is funded by The Seren Network, a group of regional hubs designed to help Wales’ brightest sixth formers achieve their potential and gain access to leading universities.

The main cost of the programme – around $6000 dollars – will be covered jointly by Seren and Yale, who formed a major partnership earlier this year.

Owain, from Gresford, is currently studying for A levels in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics at the North Wales college.

He believes this is a “golden opportunity” to gain invaluable experience at one of the most established and respected global HE institutions.

“To be chosen is a huge honour, I can’t wait to get out there,” said the 17 year-old.

“It was a lengthy application process and hard work to get to this point but it was certainly worth it, this is a golden opportunity for me.”

To secure his place at the summer school, Owain submitted a personal statement and wrote about the people and themes that have influenced his academic journey.

He will enrol on a course entitled Frontiers of Science and Technology, but admits the contents are something of a mystery to him.

“We can pick and choose which seminars we can attend but it’s been kept a secret, so it will be a nice surprise to get out there and throw myself into it with a fresh perspective,” added Owain.

“I see my future working in maths or chemistry – a career in those areas – so to have this on my CV at such a young age will be a real boost.

“My family are fully supportive but it is a long way to go as a 17 year-old for such a length of time. I can’t wait! I’m really looking forward to it and would like to thank The Seren Network for giving me this chance.”

The news follows an independent report on the success to date of Seren, which found that the programme is delivering clear value for Welsh pupils and raising their aspirations.

Liam Rahman, a Yale graduate who now works as a representative for Yale in Wales, said:

“Over the past few months I’ve worked to build the relationship between Yale and The Seren Network, which has culminated in this fantastic partnership and scholarship opportunity.

“This scholarship will deliver life-changing opportunities to some of Wales’ brightest sixth formers and gives Yale the opportunity to access some of the country’s very best talent.”

David Jones, chief executive of Coleg Cambria, wished Owain every success with the placement.

“What a tremendous opportunity, and well deserved given the effort Owain put in to what was a very competitive application process,” said Mr Jones.

“We are proud of his achievement and hope he enjoys every second of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

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