Skip to main content
Media centre

Scholars share positive impact of study with Teesside University

13 May 2021 @TeessideUni


Two students who received a boost to their education thanks to an innovative scholarship have shared the positive impact it has had on their lives.

Sarah Whittaker, BA (Hons) Human Resource Management
Sarah Whittaker, BA (Hons) Human Resource Management

Teesside University launched the Thirteen Scholarship in 2019, offering financial support to Thirteen Housing residents with aspirations to study.

Among scholars accepted on the programme were Sarah Whittaker and Martyn Hodgson, who are both now completing their studies.

Sarah, 33, from Stainton, second year BA (Hons) Human Resource Management student, said: “Teesside University and Thirteen have had such a positive impact on my life.

“The Academy has already offered so many opportunities to better my future career prospects. I am working with Thirteen as part of the customer involvement team and as a digital ambassador for the University both of which are fantastic in terms of experience and progression.”

She added: “I enjoy studying immensely, I love that my degree pathway means that I learn different elements of Business Management alongside the Human Resource management subjects.

“The new Student Life building offers fantastic support and the Library is a great learning environment. I can’t wait to be back on site and use these facilities again as soon as we safely can. Working and studying from home during the pandemic has been challenging, but challenging times often produce growth and progression.”

Sarah, who has been inspired by the way everyone has had to adapt to new ways of working during the pandemic, has chosen to write about this subject for her degree dissertation.

Teesside University and Thirteen have had such a positive impact on my life

Sarah Whittaker, BA (Hons) Human Resource Management

She added: “My advice to anyone thinking of applying to study to the Thirteen Academy, is that I would urge them apply and become a part of this auspicious opportunity.”

Martyn, 36, from Hartlepool, is a first BA (Hons) Social Work student. He said: “The course has had a major impact on my life in that it has given me the option to do the type of work I want to do and to make changes for the better in peoples’ lives.

“It will also give my family a more secure future in the type of employment I can gain from this degree.”

He added: “Studying during the pandemic has been stressful, but I’ve had support from my fellow students and my partner. I’d say to anyone thinking of applying for a scholarship; go for it.

“The academy has been fully supportive and always are there to talk to if you need any advice or help and this opportunity is too good a one to miss out on if you want that future.”

The scheme is intended to support those who might not otherwise consider applying to university, to enable them to study for a degree to help their career aspirations. Applicants can opt for a range of courses including health professions, social work, education and business.