Maths award to recognise links to Northern Ireland

From Danny Blanchflower to Snow Patrol, the University of Dundee has a proud history of welcoming Northern Irish students to Scotland and a new award, presented for the first time last week, celebrates this relationship.

The University of Dundee Mathematics Award will be given to Northern Ireland’s top performing student in GCSE Mathematics each year. The inaugural prize has been shared by James Pratt of Methodist College in Belfast and Anna Trimble of Wallace High School in Lisburn. Dundee representatives visited Methodist College last week to present James with his award, while Anna will receive hers later in the year.

Both will receive a trophy, certificate and a £50 Amazon voucher to recognise their achievements.

Professor Tracey Wilkinson, Cox Chair of Anatomy at the University, said, “Our relationship with Northern Ireland dates back to the 1940s, and Northern Irish students are a hugely important part of the University community, with hundreds coming over to Dundee to study each year.

“We have established strong relationships with schools in Northern Ireland over the years, and the aim of this award is to further strengthen these links by recognising pupils for their achievements. On behalf of the University I would like to congratulate Anna and James for their hard work and the exceptional results they have achieved in mathematics.”

There are currently more than 2000 Northern Irish students at the University, some of the 8000 or so who have crossed the Irish Sea to begin their studies at Dundee since 2005.

Legendary Tottenham Hotspur and Northern Ireland footballer Danny Blanchflower was one of the first to tread the now well-worn path to Dundee. His RAF training brought him to University College Dundee, the precursor to the University of Dundee, and he turned out for the College’s football side for a spell.

Belfast-born Gordon Hamilton, scorer of Ireland’s famous last-minute try v Australia in the 1991 Rugby World Cup is another Dundee graduate, as is his namesake Holly, currently a BBC Breakfast presenter.

The chart-topping band Snow Patrol were famously formed by Northern Irish students at the University, and lead singer Gary Lightbody returned to his Alma Mater last week to receive an Honorary Degree marking his achievements in music.

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