The Parasol Foundation Trust and the University of Gibraltar have announced the creation of the ‘Parasol Scholarship’, a scheme designed to remove the barriers faced by students who cannot access higher education for financial reasons.
As well as being aimed at prospective students who are at a financial disadvantage, the scheme will fund full academic fees for up to five students and also looks to attract applicants from Gibraltar’s neighbouring communities.
Ruth Parasol, the trust’s principal benefactress, said: “I am happy to provide talented, underprivileged students with the ability to pursue their education in Gibraltar via our Parasol Foundation Trust scholarship in collaboration with the University of Gibraltar.”
“These scholarships will initially target students in La Linea and the Campo de Gibraltar area, with a view to attracting students from further afar, next year once the student accommodation is completed.”
“Gibraltar is a great place to study, a dynamic jurisdiction with an amazing history and an ever interesting story to carry back home.”
Professor Catherine Bachleda, Acting Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gibraltar, welcomed the scholarship and Ms Parasol’s backing.
“We are extremely grateful to Ruth Parasol and The Parasol Foundation Trust for this latest generous donation,” she said.
“The Parasol Scholarship enables us to widen access to higher education and will have a direct and positive impact on students’ lives.”
The commitment represents a continuation of Ms Parasol’s support for the University of Gibraltar and follows a £600,000 gift by the trust in late 2017.
Ms Parasol is considered one of the world’s most successful businesswomen.
Following the international success of her online gaming company and its subsequent IPO on the London Stock exchange in 2005, she sold her remaining gaming interests to focus on raising her children, diversifying and managing her wealth and on giving back through philanthropy.
Following the establishment of The Trust in 2004, Ms Parasol has served as its Lead International Advisory Board Member and as the principal benefactress, having contributed several millions to communities in Gibraltar, UK, Israel, India and the United States.
Perhaps a reflection of her experience and success in the corporate world, the Parasol Scholarship covers the full tuition costs for those wishing to study the Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons) at the University.
The scheme has already started to make a difference, with the first two ‘Parasol Scholars’ started their degrees at the University last month.
One of those scholars is Pablo Castillo, a student from neighbouring La Linea, who on receiving the award said: “I am thankful to the Parasol Foundation Trust for their investment in my future.”
“The scholarship represents an opportunity to study at the University and will enable me to take firm steps towards a career in business.”
Ms Parasol believes in projects that have lasting, beneficial impacts on underprivileged communities, and wants to enable individuals to achieve what she has for herself and her family.
She added: “I am delighted that we can now offer Parasol scholarships here in Gibraltar as we have been doing on an ongoing basis with University of San Francisco, Cambridge University, Tel Aviv University and Technion University.”
The Parasol Foundation Trust focuses on local and cross-border philanthropic projects in the areas of education, female enrichment, medical research, culture and disaster relief in Gibraltar, Spain, England, Israel, India and elsewhere.