New Centenary Scholarship Scheme for Northern Ireland Ireland's Students

Up to 34 students at Northern Ireland’s two world-class universities are  benefitting from scholarships and bursaries to mark Northern Ireland’s Centenary.

The Centenary scholarships, backed by £60,000 in UK Government funding, are being made available to cover the living costs for students from backgrounds less likely to go to university. Both universities will receive £30,000 to award scholarships.

 At Queen’s University Belfast, a Northern Ireland Centenary Scholarship will support graduates of the Queen’s Senior Academy or Pathway Opportunity Programme. The University has also created the Northern Ireland Centenary Senior Academy Bursary Fund to provide financial support to students who have completed the Queen’s University Senior Academy programme and will begin their studies in autumn 2021. 

On 11 November 2021, Minister of State Conor Burns and Queen’s University Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students Professor David Jones awarded the 16 bursaries from the Northern Ireland Centenary Senior Academy Bursary Fund and two Northern Ireland Centenary Scholarships to deserving students.

Minister of State Conor Burns said:

“It’s my pleasure to be at Queen’s University to award these scholarships and bursaries to students. These initiatives are life-changing for the young people receiving them, enabling them to pursue their studies and opening up great opportunities for the future."

“It illustrates the UK Government’s commitment to levelling up access and emphasises the positive legacy of our Centenary programme.”

Welcoming the bursaries, Queen's University Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Greer said:  

“We are very proud of the impact of our Senior Academy and Pathway Programme, and the support it offers to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to access university life.  This is no easy task and the successful students display a high level of determination and resilience to complete their pathway to Queen’s. 

“We are extremely grateful to the Northern Ireland Office for funding these Centenary Scholarships and Bursaries which will provide financial support to 18 students who have just begun their university education, and look forward to hearing how these awards will help recipients to make the most of their time here at Queen’s over the next few years.”

At Ulster University, Northern Ireland Centenary Scholarships will be awarded in support of Ulster’s Belfast Community Scholarship and Northern Ireland Community Scholarship schemes. Smaller awards will support talented students in need of financial assistance as part of the Ulster University Student Opportunity Fund. The Northern Ireland Community Scholarships will be awarded to students entering their first year at Ulster in September 2022 with applications opening in April 2022.  An official awards ceremony will be held by Ulster University next year.

Eligibility information:

At Queen’s University, in order to be eligible for Northern Ireland Centenary Scholarship at Queen's, students  had to meet the quintile 1 widening participation criteria and be in receipt of a full maintenance grant; or be a care-leaver or care-experienced.  The Northern Ireland Centenary Senior Academy Bursary Fund at Queen's has been allocated to all eligible students of Queen’s Senior Academy programme with the option to opt out.  Find out more about Queen’s Widening Participation programme and the Senior Academy here.