Gillian Hampden-Thompson

Having worked in education for most of her life, Gillian has seen first-hand how universities can transform lives, but also how often the most challenging part of getting a degree can be affording it.


University donor Gillian Hampden-Thompson leaning on railing.

Gillian studied the BEd (Hons) degree – what would be the BEd QTS degree now.

What did you do after graduating?

After teaching for a period, I moved to the United States to study and teach at the same time. I completed a Masters at Bucknell University followed by a PhD at Penn State University. I worked as a researcher until 2007 when my passion for teaching brought me back home to teach at the University of York.

“As someone who works in education, I was always passionate about supporting students and their education. I had a fantastic time at university – I wouldn’t change anything about it at all, except maybe to go back and do it all again – but I know it’s not the same for everybody. I know that by giving to the Bright Futures Scholarships I’m supporting something very specific, helping to support students who otherwise would find university life very difficult.”

Do you think your time here influenced your career?

Looking back, I can trace my career in teaching and academia right back to what I learned while studying here. Obviously, first of all it qualified me as a teacher, but it was also required that we completed a dissertation in final year. Mine was on the national curriculum, which was just being introduced and looking back I can see that my career in research started there.

What will your story be?

Studying with us is a great choice, check out some of our courses and see for yourself!