William Frost (34) a postgraduate student is even hosting an international online conference today (Tuesday) to help other distance learners. The Northern Studies Virtual Conference will give students who may not usually be able to take part in conferences the opportunity to do so. High-profile guest speakers from the UK and Europe will mix online with students listening to subjects as diverse as crime novels in the Hebrides to Scandinavian horror.
William, originally from Carnoustie in Angus, studied for his MLitt in Orkney and Shetland Studies by video conference and online. He said: ”I am extremely honoured to receive this award, and humbled by the achievements of my fellow students from the various academic partner colleges. I have been supported, encouraged and enabled to reach my potential thanks to the staff and students at the Centre for Nordic Studies UHI, all of whom I am indebted to.
“Studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands has shown me that it is through sharing and learning together that success is really achieved. It has been a wonderful experience and I would recommend it to anyone looking to study somewhere where academic excellence is combined with support and enthusiasm from both staff and students.”
Already the Orkney College UHI Student of the Year, one of the university’s 13 partners, William was the unanimous choice of the judges.
Professor Matthew MacIver, Chair of the University Court explained, “There were very impressive candidates for this year’s award and we congratulate them all. The judges had a difficult choice to make. We felt William’s experiences and achievements send out strong messages about the ability of Scotland’s new University to produce high academic standards, use modern technology as an effective teaching tool and attract international students. William is indeed a worthy winner and a fine ambassador for the University of the Highlands and Islands.”
Other judges were Katrina Paton, President of the University’s students’ association and Iain Morrison, Head of Student Services.
Katrina Paton added, “William is an inspiring student, who has achieved above and beyond the requirements and is a role model to all University of the Highlands and Islands students”
Iain Morrison felt William represents the best qualities of a University of the Highlands and Islands student. “Not only is he an academic high-achiever but his inspirational use of our educational technology, his support for his fellow students and his commitment to getting the most from his time with us set him out as a worthy winner. We are immensely proud of William and the other nominees for their wonderful achievements this year.”
William graduates next month at a ceremony in Orkney. He has already secured a British Library scholarship to continue his studies as a PhD student at the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Nordic Studies.
The scholarship comes as little surprise to UHI tutor Silke Reeplog who said: “As a distance learner, William displayed demonstrable determination to succeed. He has not only supplied consistently high-quality work, but also eloquently shares his knowledge with other students.”
Ragnhild Ljosland, another of William’s tutors, added: “William’s quality of work far exceeds expectations. His level of thinking, academic analysis and argumentation is on the level of a PhD student or, in some cases, ready for submitting to an academic journal.
“He also puts enormous effort into staying in touch with the student group and his tutors. He is always up to date with what is going on, is prepared for lectures and reads widely in addition to the curriculum making him a resource other students can draw on.”
William wins £400 and will be presented with his award at his graduation ceremony in St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall.
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