Christopher Lee delivering his presentation
06 December 2006
Friday 8 Rhagfyr 2006
2006 Physics and Atmospheric Physics graduate Christopher Lee has been named as the winner of this year's UK Erasmus Student Prize essay writing competition. Christopher was presented with the first prize of £1000 after giving an illustrated account of his time studying on the Erasmus Programme to an invited audience in London on Wednesday 6 December 2006.
Christopher, who was also a finalist in the photography competition, spent six months (January – June 2006) at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) in the High Arctic, the world's northernmost higher education institution.
A panel of judges from the media, industry and academia had the difficult task of selecting the winners who were awarded £1000, £500, £250 for the Essay competition and £650, £300, £150 for the Photography competition. Richard Reid from NatWest Bank who sponsored the prizes, presented the cheques.
Bill Rammell, the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Further and Higher Education, opened the evening with an inspirational speech on the need for more students to take part in the Erasmus programme. “We need to make sure more students can and do take full advantage of the chances available to study abroad. Through their words and images, the finalists show us what a positive difference the Erasmus programme has made to their personal and academic development.”
Passages from Chris’s winning essay :
“Suddenly the illusive runway announced its presence as the pilot slammed the aircraft down with a jarring thud. We had arrived in the Arctic.”
‘There was little time to waste after our arrival as we plunged into our first week of studies. Living in the High Arctic presents unique challenges. Sure, we’d climbed mountains in Britain before, but this was another ball game altogether, and if we were going to survive the next six months we were going to need help. This came in the guise of the security course, and it was like nothing else I’d done before.’
“…but of all the hazards, the most unpredictable were polar bears. For the protection of those leaving the town, firearms are a necessity, so the final aspect of our course was weapons training.”
“Svalbard changed all of us, and not just academically. The culture highlighted the often unnecessary complexities of mainland society, and moreover, the importance of those around us. The Arctic is infectious.”
The six finalists in the Photography competition:
1st Prize : David Tett, University College London, French
2nd Prize: Stuart Coleman, University of Strathclyde, Mechanical Engineering
3rd Prize: Alistair Auffret, University of East Anglia, Environmental Science
Simon Curran, University of Kent, English Law and German Law
Bo Kay Fung, University of Leicester, Law with French Law and Languages
Christopher Lee, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Physics with Atmospheric Physics
The ten finalists for the Essay competition:
1st Prize: Christopher Lee, University of Wales Aberystwyth, Physics with Atmospheric Physics
2nd Prize: Oliver Bayliss, London Metropolitan University, Architecture
3rd Prize: Lindsay Sunley, Cleveland College of Art and Design, Fine Art
Furley Page Law Prize: Christopher Greenwood, University of Warwick, Law
Elizabeth Howell, University of Wales Swansea, Physics
Abla Kandalaft, University College London, History
Joanna Esteves Mills, University of Manchester, History and French
Noélie Verdier, Wimbledon College of Art, Costume Design
Elizabeth Chapman, Edinburgh University, English Literature and French
Amy Elizabeth Grant, University of Nottingham, Hispanic Studies
Exchange programmes at Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth offers exchange opportunities with 50 institutions in every European country except Hungary and the Slovak Republic. Currently there are over 50 Aberystwyth students at partner institutions as part of the Erasmus programme and over 100 students from other European institutions at Aberystwyth. The University also offers student exchange opportunities with partner universities in the USA.