QS Undergraduate Scholarship: 2018 Winner | Top Universities

QS Undergraduate Scholarship: 2018 Winner

By Sabrina Collier

Updated July 17, 2018 Updated July 17, 2018

We’re pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s QS Undergraduate Scholarship is Isabelle McConaghy. The scholarship, first awarded in 2017, awards up to US$10,000 to one student starting their first year of a bachelor’s degree at any QS-ranked university.

Isabelle will now study a Bachelor of Arts at the University of New South Wales in Australia, starting in Spring 2019. She is interested in combining her theoretical interests with her creative passion, and says “I hope that with this degree I will be able to study in depth, present day world issues and ethical concerns and interweave these philosophical themes into a number of visual platforms in my creative practice.”

As an Australian, Isabelle won’t be studying abroad for her program, having considered that it would be more beneficial for her to firstly understand her own country’s current issues and cultivate viewpoints on these before understanding other cultures. She was also particularly attracted to studying at the University of South Wales due to its unique dual degree options, allowing her to tailor her degree to suit her interests in both journalism and art. Another draw was its attractive international exchange programs.

For her application essay, Isabelle chose to write about Alan, a three-year old Syrian refugee who was found tragically washed up on the shores of Turkey. She says: “this infamous photo that spread around the world had a deep personal effect on me, not only in my perception of the refugee crisis, but also that it made me realize the dangers of falling into the trap of “turning a blind eye” and has been a key inspiration in my future aspirations.”

After finishing her degree, Isabelle hopes to work in a creative industry where she can feel fulfilled by exploring and shedding light on complex global issues, having cultivated her skills in various creative mediums.

When asked what difference the scholarship will make to her, Isabelle says “Receiving the honour of the QS Undergraduate Scholarship not only provides support in financing my course, but most importantly affirms a greater belief in my ability and aspirations.”

Advice for other applicants

“My advice would be to really take time in choosing which scholarship essay question you think you can answer most authentically or personally. I think many of us, like myself, fall into the trap when writing applications of thinking too much through the mind of the markers and what we perceive they want, which often leads to us neglecting our own unique personal stories which make us stand out on paper.”

This article was originally published in July 2018 .

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Written by

The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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