Scholarship for Harpenden sixth former

A SIXTH-form student at a Harpenden school has won the opportunity to study free at university from September.

The University of Buckingham was so impressed by an extended essay project from Alex Black, a sixth former at St George’s School, that he was awarded a scholarship covering UK undergraduate fees together with accommodation and living expenses.

The course would ordinarily cost over �34,000 to complete.

Alex, 18, who boards at the Sun Lane school, won the scholarship after completing a sixth-form extended essay project on the 2003 war in Iraq. He had to extensively research an area of particular interest under the supervision of a teacher.

At Buckingham, a private university, he will be studying for a degree in politics, economics and law over a two-year period from this September.

Alex, who kept the news of his prize to himself while he and his peers were slogging over their A-levels, said: “I didn’t want to say much as we have all been working incredibly hard for our university places and the pressure on everyone is enormous.

“I was amazed when I got the letter and then to realise that I have an unconditional award which means quite frankly that I don’t have to get the same high grades as my friends. This means so much to me and Buckingham is a really exciting place to study.”

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Norman Hoare, headmaster of St George’s School, said: “I found Alex a challenging student to mentor as he wrote his dissertation. One-to-one discussions with him stretched my understanding of geopolitics and his arguments were persuasive.

“His presentation to parents and governors as part of his final assessment was scholarly and done in 25 minutes without any notes – he was quoting from books and international figures – I have no doubt that in years to come we shall see him either lecturing in International Relations or advising national governments on strategy.”