It takes initiative to study abroad, not to mention commitment and talent, particularly at postgraduate level. From a student's point of view, extra funding can give you a head start on the road to success. Dozens of British postgraduates and young researchers have benefited from from the Finnish government over the years, and six more postgraduates are in line for these scholarships for the academic year 1997-98.

If you have a first degree, are under 35 years of age, and would like to do research or fieldwork in Finland as part of your British postgraduate degree or if you would like to receive your postgraduate degree from a Finnish university, you can apply for a Finnish government scholarship for 3-9 months.

One of the new scholarship holders for 1997-98 is Stuart Burch, who is doing an MA in Sculpture Studies at Leeds University.

Stuart says, 'I spent a year at the University of Turku as an ERASMUS student, while doing my BA in History of Art at the University of Leicester. This period stimulated my interest in Finland and the fruit of this was my undergraduate thesis on 19th and early 20th century representations of Kalevala in art.

My present MA course at Leeds University will also focus on Finland, as I intend to write about Finnish public sculpture. The current concerns about traditional and modernist approaches to statues of statesmen - such as Presidents Mannerheim and Kekkonen - makes for an interesting debate.

I will use my scholarship to increase my knowledge of Finland's language and culture. This will involve additional research into contemporary art throughout the country, but especially in Helsinki once the new Museum of Contemporary Art opens.'

Other Finnish government scholarships holders in 1997-98 are as follows:

Paul Hayhurst (BEng from University of Central Lancashire), studying for an MSc in Materials Science at Tampere University of Technology.

Christopher Jones (BSc and MSc from University of Wales, Aberystwyth; studying for a PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University), researching into Nordic Security at the University of Tampere Peace Research Institute.

Conrad Poulson (BA from University College of Ripon & York St John), studying for an MA in Design Leadership at the University of Art and Design, Helsinki.

Alex Thottichira (BSc from Mangalore University, India), studying for an MSc in Restorative Dentistry at the University of Helsinki.

Alison Williams-Bailey (BA from Roehampton Institute, MA from Middlesex University, starting MPhil/PhD studies at Brunel University College), fieldwork in Sami Culture/Anthropology at the University of Lapland Arctic Centre.

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