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The Higginson Leadership Award was founded by a gift in 1954 from Wing-Commander John S Higginson, MA, CBE, OBE, who lived at Ballyward Lodge near Castlewellan in Co Down.  Wing-Commander Higginson was an RAF veteran of the Second World War, whose post-war activities became increasingly philanthropic in nature, focusing in particular on improving services and facilities for the youth of Northern Ireland.  Wing-Commander Higginson died in November 2000, but the award has been re-launched by his nephew and heir Andrew Higginson OBE, who has assumed the role of Trustee.  Andrew Higginson is a former Director of Higginson Associates Ltd, London-based Consultants in Conflict Resolution, Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Assistance, and Risk Management.

The Higginson Leadership Award Panel is:

  • Andrew Higginson - Chair
  • Eileen Murphy - Chair of the Scholarships and Awards Group and Professor of Archaeology, School of Natural and Built Environment
  • Karl Oakes - Development Manager, Queen’s Sport
  • David Coleman - Secretary to the Scholarship and Awards Group and Quality Assurance Administrator, Academic Affairs

The purpose of the award is to encourage a sense of social responsibility and inspirational leadership among students of the University, and to support enterprising activities or ventures overseas which will demonstrate initiative and the ability to inspire or act as a role model for others. 

Applicants must be enrolled Queen’s students at the application closing date. 

An award will be made up to the value of £3,000. The winner of the award will also qualify for Degree Plus through Route A, provided all conditions of the award have been met before the Degree Plus deadline in the year which they are due to graduate.  This will be verified by the Award Panel.

The award will be open for application and allocation every two years. It was last awarded in May 2019 and will open again for application in November 2020.

All awards are subject to funding availability.

Students who have received the Higginson Leadership Award in recent years have led teams on projects to build needed infrastructure, resource centres and help impoverished communities in Romania, Kenya, Bolivia, Thailand, Uganda, Mostar and Zambia in many interesting and beneficial ways. 

Previous winners

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Students who have received the Higginson Leadership Award in recent years have led teams on projects to build resource centres and help impoverished communities in Romania, Kenya, Bolivia, Thailand, Uganda, Mostar and Zambia in many interesting and beneficial ways, including providing free eyetests and donated glasses to people who would not otherwise be able to afford or to access proper eye care.

See Successful Projects

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