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Professor Bligh

Professor Donald Bligh graduated in Teacher Training from Leeds Beckett University in 1958. He believes that universities are integral to teaching knowledge, but also creating new knowledge and new interpretations of old knowledge by use of the imagination and then testing ideas by research and intellectual criticism. The Professor Bligh Scholarship seeks to reward one student who can show they can think for themselves and argue for their ideas, whilst recognising possible objections and devising a way of testing or criticising their own ideas. The Scholarship looks for an intellectual rebel; someone prepared to challenge established beliefs, yet able to argue both sides of an issue; someone who never stops asking questions; a person who has principles, but is open minded, not dogmatic.

The Scholarship

The Professor Bligh Scholarship is awarded to one second year student in 2017/18, who displays academic merit, enthusiasm and innovation, despite being the first in their family to attend university and coming from a background with a low household income. The Professor Bligh Scholarship is an award £1,000, paid in two instalments. The first instalment will be paid on award of the scholarship in October, and the second instalment will be paid in January 2018 after the successful completion of the first term.

Throughout the period of the Scholarship, Professor Bligh will also be available as a mentor to take the successful scholar’s ideas further and help develop appropriate study methods to do so.

The Professor Bligh Scholars 2016/17

Professor Bligh and two female scholarship recipients

The Professor Bligh Scholarships for 2016/17 were awarded in October 2016.

The recipients of the fifth annual Professor Bligh Scholarship were Fatemeh Amirkamali, a 35-year-old BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy student from Alwoodley, Leeds, and Claire Paylor, a 24-year-old BSc (Hons) Environmental Health student from Selby.

Fatemeh, who was born in Tehran, said: “I feel very much honoured and humbled to have received this award. I do understand that it is very competitive, so winning the award meant a lot both to me and the Speech and Language Therapy team. As I am a mature student who is working, this scholarship will provide me with financial security and enable me to focus more on my course. I am extremely pleased that I will be mentored with Professor Bligh over the coming years as well. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me.”

Claire added: “I feel absolutely honoured to have been awarded the Professor Bligh Scholarship. It has given me confidence in my academic abilities and recognition of my commitment to my course and environmental health as a career. The scholarship will provide me with professional guidance from Professor Bligh throughout the year of studies ahead and help me build my confidence; and the financial prize will provide me with the ability to attend invaluable continuous professional development courses and events run by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, which will benefit me greatly in my career. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to work with Professor Bligh. I am absolutely honoured to have achieved his recognition and cannot wait for the year ahead!”

If you would like to support students through our scholarships, find out more about making a donation below, or contact the Alumni Team on or 0113 81 23145.

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