1. ITV Report

New scholarship honours the bravery of Gurkhas

Gurkhas on parade Photo:

A new scholarship has been set up by a university for former and serving locally-based Gurkha soldiers who have been wounded in action.

The University of Kent Gurkha Scholarship for Study will also be open to dependants of Gurkhas based in the county who have been wounded or killed in conflict.

The award, which will cover the cost of tuition fees for all categories of students, is open to people wanting to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level and will be made annually for five years.

University officials said they hope the new scholarship will help illustrate the feeling of gratitude for the Gurkhas' vital role as part of the British Army.

Gurkhas have strong ties with Kent. The Royal Gurkha Rifles battalion is stationed near Folkestone and two field squadrons of the Queen's Gurkha Engineers are based in Maidstone, under the 36 Engineer Regiment of the Royal Engineers.

Professor Alex Hughes, pro-vice-chancellor external at the university, said: "Gurkhas have long formed a welcome, integral part of the local community and, on the national stage, have played a significant role in recent and more historic conflicts.

"As Kent's regional university, we recognise our responsibility both to the large Nepalese community that has settled in Kent and to the Gurkha units based in the county.

"The university is committed to achieving recognition for these soldiers and their families."

Alison Coles, the university's director of development and alumni relations, said: "My hope is that this scholarship may, in some small way, help to repay our debt of gratitude to the much loved and respected Kent-based Gurkha community and their families.

"The incredible bravery and loyalty of these remarkable people has won them great respect and affection."