How to start a scholarship

Hadil Louz is the eighth student to receive the Gaza Scholarship. Observe caught up with one of the scholarship’s founders, Sir Iain Chalmers, to find out how he and fellow Oxford Brookes honorary graduate, Dr Paul Brankin got it started.

“The idea for the scholarship came at the time of military attacks on Gaza, the so-called ‘Cast Lead’ attacks which started in late 2008 and continued into 2009.

“Around that time the then Chancellor of Oxford Brookes, Shami Chakrabarti held a reception at the Athenaeum in London. And I wrote to her in advance, asking if it would be possible for Oxford Brookes to do something to indicate to Palestinians in Gaza that they hadn’t been forgotten.

“At the reception I spoke about my idea with then Vice-Chancellor Janet Beer and Ian Steadman (Development Director at the time). I said my family would be willing to contribute funds to get it started. “Paul Brankin, who was also at the reception, overheard me and said he would be prepared to do likewise. And what’s more, he would try to get other people to match what he was giving.”

Jamila Alzan with Jan and Iain Chalmers and Paul Brankin 1000x500
Gaza scholar Jamila Alzaanin ’12 (second right) with Jan and Iain Chalmers, and Paul Brankin

Thanks to the generosity of Iain, Paul and other donors, the scholarship has enabled a student from Gaza to study a Master’s degree at Oxford Brookes every year, except 2015/16, since.

Inspired by Iain and Paul’s example, a scholarship for students from Israel, The Sam Zuckerberg Scholarship, was established in 2011. It also enables one student a year to study a Master’s at Oxford Brookes and, like the Gaza Scholarship, is entirely funded by donors.

Oxford Brookes is very proud of all our scholars from Gaza and Israel, and very grateful for the support of donors in enabling them to study here.

How you can help

Oxford Brookes believes no student should be denied an education due to circumstances beyond their control. We are sure our alumni share this belief.

If you are interested in establishing a scholarship fund to enable students, who would not otherwise have the opportunity, to study at Oxford Brookes, or would like to contribute to an existing fund, please get in touch for an informal discussion.

Contact Oxford Brookes Development and Alumni Relations Team


Healthcare hero, Anne-Marie Faulkner is able to study Adult Nursing thanks to the Tessa-Jane Evans Bursary – find out more

Read Hadil Louz’s story – how coming to Oxford Brookes was “the best decision of my life”