Friday, August 14, 2009

Billy Connolly inspired student

Billy Connolly's World Tour of Scotland series wowed Ms De Rees

A Belgian woman who felt inspired to move to Scotland after watching comedian Billy Connolly's World Tour series is up for a top award.

Sarah De Rees, 28, is Orkney College UHI's student of the year - after studying for a PhD from more than 200 miles away in Elgin, Moray.

The honour has placed her among the candidates for overall UHI student of the year, which is being judged now.

Ms De Rees said Connolly's television programme drew her to Scotland.

From Lubbeek, she first moved to Edinburgh, then Oban, Newtonmore and finally Elgin.

She achieved a first-class honours degree in Scottish cultural studies run by Orkney.

UHI students can do their course work from home and by going into their nearest college. In Ms De Rees' case it was Moray College in Elgin.

She said: "I knew that Scotland was the place for me when I saw Billy Connolly's series - it really inspired me."

Others in the running for the overall student of the year award include Argyll College's Kenny McGeachy, Moray's Nigel Kenworthy, Lochaber student Duncan MacFarlane and Highland Theological College's Dr George Craig.

Also in contention is North Highland College's student of the year David MacBeath, Lews Castle's Malcolm Murray, Perth College's Tommy Hayward and Shetland's Angela Irvine .

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