UP student awarded prestigious Abe Bailey Travel Bursary

Posted on November 12, 2015

Ms Cyan Brown, currently in her fourth year of the Bachelor of Medicine (MBChB) degree programme at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Health Sciences, was one of the recipients of the prestigious Abe Bailey Travel Bursary.

The bursaries are awarded annually by the Abe Bailey Trust to give selected university students (in their third year or above) and university staff of lecturer status (under the age of 25) an opportunity to visit the United Kingdom for a period of three weeks, during which they participate in educational tours according to an approved programme. While in the United Kingdom, participants are hosted by Goodenough College in London. All bursars become members of the Abe Bailey Fellowship, which was established along with the Travel Bursary in 1951.

The objective of the bursary is to broaden the views of young South Africans by enabling exceptional students and staff to achieve a greater understanding of, and an ability to cooperate with, people of various language and cultural backgrounds, and to foster enterprise, commitment and effective participation in a common future. Many of the young South Africans who were previous recipients of this award have gone on to make notable contributions in their respective fields both locally and abroad. The selected bursars will gather in Cape Town on 25 November 2015, where they will spend two days together for orientation and to get to know one another a little better, before departing for London on 27 November 2015. The tour will officially end in London on 19 December 2015.

Ms Brown views the Abe Bailey travel bursary as an opportunity to engage in open conversation with students from different backgrounds and believes that exposure to another country will be beneficial, particularly if the insights gained through the experience can be applied locally. She also believes that leaders develop further when they are taken out of their comfort zone from time to time, and regards travelling overseas as an excellent way of achieving this.

When asked what advice she would give to students wishing to apply for next year’s bursary awards, Ms Brown said: ‘This bursary is not simply a prize; rather, it is an opportunity to grow, experience and have our minds awakened so that we may re-invest what we have learnt in our society and in our country.’ She urges future applicants to ensure that they want that responsibility; that they can demonstrate a global awareness; that they have a love of their country, its people and their university; and that they are committed to a life of service for the benefit of society. ‘Become immersed in your student community, have a good understanding of your context and surroundings, and be committed to doing all you do with excellence and passion,’ she said.

This year, nominations for the Abe Bailey Travel Bursary were, for the first time, open to all the residential universities and universities of technology in South Africa. Competition was therefore particularly fierce. The University of Pretoria is proud to count Ms Brown among its student body and wishes her well in her upcoming adventure.


- Author Ansa Heyl

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