Lord Forte Foundation supports Hospitality and Events Management students in achieving their career goals

By Press Office

Six lucky students from Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh have been given an outstanding package of support that will help them excel in their final year of study and prepare them for entering the hospitality, tourism and events industry.

The students from the BA (Hons) International Hospitality and Tourism Management and the BA (Hons) Events Management are amongst the first at Queen Margaret University to benefit from the prestigious Lord Forte Foundation Scholarships. Each successful student has received a substantial award of £2,500, which is part of the £15,000 annual donation from the Lord Forte Foundation to the University.

The students who come from Edinburgh, across Scotland and as far as Poland, are able to use their award to pay living expenses and other costs in order to help them focus on achieving academic excellence.

Awarded by the Lord Forte Foundation, the scholarships are aimed at supporting current students, and making improvements for future generations in the hospitality, tourism and events industry.

Professor Monika Foster, Head of the Division of Business, Enterprise and Management at Queen Margaret University, said: “Sir Rocco Forte is an honorary graduate of Queen Margaret University and we are delighted that the Lord Forte Foundation is working with us to support the development of the next generation of hospitality, tourism and events professionals. These scholarships are proving to be of significant benefit for these students - helping to alleviate the financial burden associated with university study, thereby providing more of a level playing field to help talented students, regardless of their background to achieve their goals.”

She continued: “We are pleased that the students are also investing some of their scholarship funding in developing their knowledge of key areas of the hospitality and events industries. Matthew Davidson, as student from Edinburgh, plans to gain invaluable knowledge of the Scottish whisky industry by travelling to different distilleries and finding out about the process of distilling and tasting. During a QMU organised internship with a golf and country club in the USA, Matthew was often questioned about Scotch whisky. He feels that by developing his understanding of Scotland’s national drink, he will be able to improve his contribution to the hospitality sector whilst also gaining a competitive advantage over other young hospitality professionals entering the industry. For other students, the Lord Forte Foundation Scholarship is a critical financial lifeline that helps to ensure students can progress to their graduation, without having to endure financial hardship. It provides the opportunity to focus on their dissertation and achieve good grades, rather than getting side-tracked by the need to undertake many hours of paid employment in fourth year.”

Cornelia Hammarland, a BA (Hons) Events Management student, was both relieved and overjoyed to secure the Lord Forte Foundation Scholarship, in what she describes as a “very challenging final year of study”. She said: “The Scholarship means a lot to me and as I was juggling two part-time jobs in hospitality alongside my studies to help pay rent and bills. I am thankful to be able to reduce my working hours so I can spend more time focusing on my assignments and honours projects. I will also increase my employability by gaining vital festival management experience in the USA. I had previously worked as an intern at a festival in Austin, Texas, and had the opportunity to return this year but was required to cover my travel costs. The scholarship will allow me to pay for the trip. Two weeks at this year’s festival will ensure I benefit from outstanding hands-on festival management experience - an opportunity which will build my confidence and help shape my future career in the events industry.”

Rocco Forte, Executive Chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels, which own 11 hotels across the UK and Europe including the Balmoral in Edinburgh and Chairman of the Trustees of the Lord Forte Foundation said: "I am very pleased indeed to help support the excellent Business faculty at Queen Margaret University. Hospitality, Tourism and Events is of immense importance to the Scottish economy and the encouragement of young people who will be future leaders in the industry is one of our main aims".

Richard Cooke, General Manager of the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, will give his inaugural lecture to students at QMU on 26th March. This will provide students with the opportunity learn about the Rocco Forte Hotels as well as Richard’s career development.


Photo caption: Richard Cooke, General Manager of the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, joins the six Queen Margaret University Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management students to celebrate the first year of the Lord Forte Foundation Scholarships at the University.


More information on the BA (Hons) Events and Festival Management.

Notes to Editor

For further media information please contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk; T: 0131 474 0000, ML 07711 011239 or Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000

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