By Press Office 27 February 2017

A second year BSc (Hons) Human Biology student from QMU is a step closer to pursuing a career in medicine thanks to support from the University’s Vice-Chancellor’s Fund.

Set up by QMU’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Petra Wend, the annual bursary of up to £500 per applicant, aims to fund travel, either wholly or in part for suitable overseas academic, professional or vocational initiatives.

Lewis MacDonald, 19, from Glasgow, applied to the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund to help finance his charity support expedition to Malawi with First Aid Africa in summer 2016.

The charity aims to develop sustainable first aid teaching and equipment in sub-Saharan Africa, including four partner countries – Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Lewis spent six weeks working in a high school teaching first aid to classes of up 100 students.

Before leaving for Malawi, Lewis took part in intensive training in third-world country first aid, teaching, and health and safety. This training allowed Lewis to deliver lessons on a topic that he is passionate about and interested in improving.

Whilst in Malawi, Lewis also worked alongside a community healthcare practitioner trained by First Aid Africa to enhance their knowledge of first aid skills, including the recovery position, burns, fractures, snake bites and shock.

Commenting on his successful application to the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund, Lewis said: “I really enjoyed the experience in Africa. I’m very thankful for opportunities like the QMU Vice-Chancellor’s Fund to allow students like me to take part in these experiences.

“After graduating from QMU, I’d like to fulfil my life-long ambition to study medicine. So far at QMU I’ve developed the foundations to progress this ambition through experiences like First Aid Africa. I hope to continue travelling and working with the charity in the future.

“My top tip for other students would be to get involved with as many extra-curricular activities and personal development opportunities as possible at QMU – they’re great way to meet new people, broaden your horizons, try new experiences and gain valuable graduate skills.”

Lewis is now the society leader of the Queen Margaret University First Aid Africa society and is currently working to help current volunteers with their expeditions.

Some of the awards that have been made by the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund in the past have been to support a range of activities, including fieldwork for a research project and Masters dissertations, professional placements, attendance at international conferences and summer schools, as well as visits to overseas universities for collaborative research purposes. Such projects actively benefit QMU, the wider community and have led to publishable papers.

For more information on the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund and to apply, visit Our Funds. Completed application forms should be returned to principal@qmu.ac.uk. Applicants are asked to supply a statement of support from their QMU supervisor with their application.

For more information on First Aid Africa, visit: www.firstaidafrica.org

For more information on the QMU First Aid Africa Society, visit the Society’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/FirstAidAfricaQueenMargaret or E: qmu@firstaidafrica.com

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Marketing Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk  T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239 and Jon Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000.

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