The Bruges-Natolin UK European Scholarships Fund* (or more simply ‘Brunat’) provides scholarships for UK-based applicants to study at the College of Europe in Belgium (Bruges) and Poland (Natolin).
The College of Europe was established in 1949 as a university institute of postgraduate studies and training in European affairs. The College attracts university graduates from all over the world, offering an invaluable experience that allows students to develop academically, professionally and personally, often forging lifelong friendships in the process.
Knowledge of the subtleties and intricacies of the EU is vitally important to UK interests; government or otherwise. The Brunat fund aspires to encourage young people to study at the College of Europe, to the benefit of both themselves and the UK as a whole. No matter the final outcome of the referendum vote of June 2016, the UK is a European country and its relationship with the EU will remain central to its destiny.
Even if Britons can no longer aspire to a career in the EU institutions, understanding of the EU in the UK will remain vital in innumerable other contexts.
The UK government formerly operated a scholarship programme for British students to address the need for expertise but since 2010 the programme has been limited to a few civil servants.
The Bruges-Natolin UK European Scholarships Fund was established in 2010 at the initiative of Lady (Moya) Denman, widow of Sir Roy Denman.
The scholarships the fund offers provide assistance to talented applicants from the UK who have been offered places but might otherwise be unable to take them up for lack of means. The scholarships cover tuition fees only.
Brunat scholarships are awarded depending on the generosity of donors and the availability of good quality and deserving candidates. Individual scholarships can be (and are) named after any donor—personal or corporate—who contributes a large proportion of the cost. Donations of any amount are eagerly sought; to learn how to contribute please click here.
Currently, the Trustees award a minimum of three scholarships each year.
The Denman Scholarship
Sir Roy Denman (1924-2006) campaigned throughout his life for stronger bonds between Britain and its European neighbours. At the end of his long European career he served as Head of the EC Delegation in Washington DC, with the rank of Ambassador; after retirement he continued to campaign for British participation in Europe in his books, Missed Chances, Britain & Europe in the Twentieth Century and The Mandarin’s Tale, as well as in many articles in the International Herald Tribune and letters to the Financial Times.
The Thomson Family Scholarship
The Thomson family generously funds a scholarship in memory of George and Grace Thomson. Baron Thomson of Monifieth entered politics after a career in publishing and was one of Britain’s first two European Commissioners. Lady Thomson once observed that “I married the editor of The Beano, The Dandy, and Forward [the Scottish Labour newspaper, now defunct], and here I am, to my astonishment, hosting the movers and shakers of the European continent!”
The Alumni Scholarship
The generosity of alumni of the College goes some way to funding a third annually awarded scholarship.
*Registered charity no. 1139334