New bursary supports Scottish undergraduates

Friday 31 May 2024


St Catharine’s is proud to establish a new bursary that will enable Scottish students to take up the offer of an undergraduate place at Cambridge, at a time when the majority (95%) of young people in Scotland are choosing places at Scottish universities where undergraduate tuition fees are paid by the Scottish Government.1

St Catharine’s alumnus Euan Finlay (2004, Economics) and his wife, Emily Lamb Finlay, approached the College with a proposal to fully fund a Scottish student who has been offered and accepted an undergraduate place at St Catharine’s. The Finlays are passionate advocates for education and the opportunities a world-class university degree can offer – and were concerned that financial pressures could restrict the freedom of choice open to students in Scotland, particularly those from lower income households.

They explained, “We are delighted to establish the Finlay Family Bursary at St Catharine’s and hope it will encourage students from Scotland to apply to St Catharine’s and enable them to accept an offer of a place, safe in the knowledge that they will have financial support throughout their studies at Cambridge.”

From October 2025, the new Finlay Family Bursary will cover tuition fees and provide a living allowance for an entire 3- or 4-year undergraduate degree at St Catharine’s for a student who:

  • Was normally resident in Scotland in the three years before starting university;
  • Attended schools in Scotland for the last three years of their school education; and
  • Either (a) received UK Government funded Free School Meals for at least three years at some time during secondary school or (b) will be eligible for the full Cambridge Bursary in the first year of their degree.

Eligible students would also have access to other funding such as the Cambridge Bursary Scheme, as well as a range of other bursaries open to undergraduates throughout their time at St Catharine’s.

Sir John Benger (1979, English), Master of St Catharine’s, commented:

“This generous bursary for Scottish students is unique in collegiate Cambridge to St Catharine’s. The Finlay Family Bursary is entirely in keeping with the College’s commitment to ensuring that brilliant students can thrive here, whatever their personal circumstances. The College is extremely grateful to Euan and Emily for their generosity and foresight in proposing the Finlay Family Bursary. I look forward to students from Scotland applying to us and making the most of the exceptional opportunities on offer at St Catharine’s and the wider University of Cambridge.”

Rachel Jackson, a St Catharine’s student from North Berwick in Scotland who is studying a PhD in Medicine, added:

“I’m pleased this new bursary will overcome the financial pressures that could be a barrier to Scottish undergraduates who want to study at St Catharine’s. I did my undergraduate degree in Scotland largely because of cost, but if I was making the decision now and tuition fees were taken out of the equation then Cambridge – and St Catharine’s in particular – would be my first choice. I am confident that Scottish students will feel as comfortable and supported as I have felt during my time at St Catharine’s.”

For further information for applicants, including full eligibility criteria, please visit

Some of the Scottish students currently at St Catharine's College
Some of the Scottish students currently at St Catharine's College


1. Higher Education Statistics Agency. Higher Education Student Statistics: UK, 2021/22 - Where students come from and go to study. Available online at