“The Parasol Scholarship was a great opportunity, and my only way to access these studies, otherwise I would never have been able to study at the University of Gibraltar.” – La Línea-resident Jose Miguel Herrera
Overlooking the gateway of the Mediterranean Sea, with panoramic views of Spain and the Atlas Mountains of Africa on the horizon, standing on the cliffs of Europa Point; where some of the world’s last remaining Neanderthals took refuge… it is fair to say that the University of Gibraltar provides a modern UK-aligned university educational experience in a culturally unique destination.
Since 2018, the Parasol Foundation Scholarship scheme has been offering academically gifted students from the Campo de Gibraltar and further afield, the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) degree, with all tuition fees fully covered.
Reach spoke to two of the scholars, La Línea-resident Jose Miguel Herrera, who is currently one academic year into his degree, and Zainab Seddeki from Morocco who is in her second year to find out what their experiences have been like.
“The University of Gibraltar is unique in many ways, but the most important aspect to me is undoubtedly the small class sizes, which allows students to have a closer and more personal experience than in other universities”, Jose told Reach.
Zainab told us: “small class sizes makes it easier for students to follow the seminars, and to not to feel embarrassed to share their opinions and speak, and this also allows us to build a good relationship with the tutors.”
The University of Gibraltar is known for its smaller classes and personal approach to teaching, with students gaining access to tutors who are, mainly, practising professionals in their given fields.
There has been a major global shift in how students choose the university on which to lay the foundations for the future; with post-graduate employability being the deciding factor.
It is no surprise then that a real-life experience approach is at the core of the University’s ethos, with students not only delving deep into the theory, but also gaining invaluable, hands-on experience through work placement schemes.
Jose explained: “we have a local or international placement from the first year, where we put into practice everything we learned in class and acquire other work-related skills, it’s great!”
Gibraltar is a financial, entrepreneurial, and technological powerhouse, with a World Trade Centre and some of the globe’s leading businesses present at your fingertips within 2.6 square miles… as the University says, “the Rock is your campus”.
The local and international professional contacts of the University of Gibraltar have been described by many students as ideal for building the strong professional connections to jump-start their careers, especially for those in the Campo de Gibraltar who plan on gaining employment (or even setting up their own business) in Gibraltar.
“Being in contact with very important professionals in the business and finance industry gave me another view of Gibraltar as a big business community with many career opportunities”, Jose told us.
Gibraltar’s proximity to Andalucía has also made the University of Gibraltar a defining factor for students in Spain, especially in a fast-changing world situation, which will mean that long-distance travel will be substantially more complicated for those wanting to study abroad.
For those living in the Campo de Gibraltar, the University of Gibraltar provides the full university experience – a new culture to enjoy in a vibrant, bustling business hub like Gibraltar, and much more, right on your doorstep.
Of course, Gibraltar is also a bustling holiday destination – with beautiful beaches, caves to explore, hiking trails at the Mediterranean Steps, a vibrant nightlife scene and ancient and modern history waiting to be discovered.
Who else can say that they studied a stone’s throw away from a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Gorham’s Cave) where mankind’s last remaining Neanderthal ancestors once lived? Indeed, in one of the few wholly bilingual (English and Spanish) jurisdictions?
Gibraltar for the most part is a bilingual community, so Spanish students have no issues going about their daily lives on the Rock.
Of course, to apply for the Parasol Scholarship, proficiency in English is a must because the course itself is given in English.
Jose gave us some advice to anyone in the Campo de Gibraltar who is considering applying for this scholarship:
“Apply for the scholarship, explain why you deserve it and just be yourself. Do not hesitate and go for it! It could be your greatest opportunity.”
Zainab, “Go for it. If you really want to benefit from higher education in a nice place, surrounded by nice people, just apply for Parasol scheme …
If you are thinking about taking the opportunity, you can apply for the scholarship here.
However, outside of the scholarship, the University of Gibraltar’s Europa Point Language Centre provides both short and long English courses to gain those all important B1 and B2 Cambridge English certificates that Spanish students require.