Students Staff

29 October 2012

Students win prestigious Savoy scholarships for Edge Hotel School

Edge Hotel School students receive Savoy Educational Trust Scholarships

Savoy Educational Trust scholarships have been awarded to Emma Sutton, Gemma Storey and Fatmata Bangura.

Three students from Essex and Cambridgeshire have each been awarded a £3,000 scholarship from the Savoy Educational Trust as they begin their studies at the pioneering Edge Hotel School, the UK’s first hotel school based entirely in a fully operational commercial hotel.

Gemma Storey, 18, and Fatmata Bangura, 36, from Colchester in Essex are both working towards a Foundation degree in Hotel Management, while Emma Sutton, 19, from Burwell in Cambridgeshire is working towards a Bachelors degree (BA) in Hotel Management.

All three started their courses in September at the Edge Hotel School, situated on the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus. Their degree courses will combine academic study with practical experience of working in the newly refurbished Wivenhoe House hotel.

Scholarship recipient - Emma Sutton

After completing her A levels, Emma gained valuable experience working in a local hotel and has also worked as a children’s gymnastics coach while studying for her A levels.

She said: “I know that I learn best with a hands-on approach to my studies, making the Edge Hotel School, which focuses on learning-by-doing, the perfect next step to achieve my ambition of managing a quality hotel.”

Scholarship recipient - Gemma Storey

Gemma showed early determination to succeed when, as a child, she won a gold medal in a gymnastics competition in Malta. Since then she finished her A levels while working as a shop assistant and has since worked for a wedding organiser to learn about working in the hospitality industry.

She said: “Organising weddings taught me a lot about what is involved in providing excellent customer service in a busy and stressful environment. Winning this scholarship will transform my experience by helping fund my travel to college since I need to live at home while I am studying. It will also help me to buy a laptop which I’ll use for my academic work and to learn how hotels are using social media.

“I’m excited about the opportunities I’ll have at the Edge Hotel School to learn about different types of hotel environments because many of the hotel rooms at Wivenhoe House are individually designed and furnished by different hoteliers.”

Scholarship recipient - Fatmata Bangura

Fatmata previously studied interior design, but now wants to work in the hospitality sector. She said: “I know how it feels to be both satisfied and unsatisfied with service quality and I want to provide an experience that exceeds customer expectations with excellent customer service.

“As a single mother and mature student, I have commitments in addition to my studies and I am under significant financial pressures, so this scholarship will really help me work towards my ambition of a career in hospitality.”

Savoy Educational Trust support

The Savoy Educational Trust scholarships are designed to support talented students and help encourage the outstanding hospitality managers of the future. The scholarships were awarded by a panel based on a combination of criteria from the application form and supporting statement.

Alan Jenkins, Principal of the Edge Hotel School, said: “With their impressive reputation built over 50 years of developing education, training and qualifications in the hospitality sector, the support of Savoy Educational Trust is a significant endorsement of our mission based on a model of ‘learning-by-doing’. We are honoured to be working with them.”

Edge Hotel School students achieve a degree awarded by the University of Essex while working at the historic Wivenhoe House, a luxury hotel and restaurant, recently restored at a cost of £10 million. Students have the option of earning a one-year foundation degree or a BA Honours degree in two years. The curriculum has been developed in collaboration with some of the sector’s leading employers and well-known industry figures including Michelin star chefs and 4 and 5 star hoteliers.

The new hotel features period suites and rooms, a new garden wing, a signature restaurant for more formal dining, a brasserie for informal dining and meeting rooms.

To find out more about Edge Hotel School scholarships, visit or contact the Edge Hotel School directly at or call 01206 872858.


Notes to editors

For press queries, and photographs of scholarship recipients, please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on telephone: 01206 872400, e-mail:

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