Ryan Aslett - College of Life & Environmental Sciences

Dear Donors,

I am Ryan Aslett, from Nottingham, and I have just started my first year at the University of Exeter in Penryn studying Geography.

Geography has been a passion of mine for quite a while so being able to study the subject at one of the best universities in the country means a lot to me given how I am the first person in my family to go to university. The prospect of progressing to higher education was always strange to me; when I was younger, it seemed like an impossible goal.

I decided to study at Penryn for the dual-discipline course as I have an interest in both the physical and human aspects of the subject, while being in Cornwall where I can bring all of my studies into the field for a greater understanding of what I am learning.

I was shocked and delighted to hear that I was being awarded a Sir Steve Smith Scholarship, it really does relieve the stress that I have been having about being at university. Now I know that I can have more of a focus on my studies as I can now reduce my hours at work. This enables me to explore Cornwall and gain more of an insight into my surroundings, which will benefit me both academically and personally.

I would like to thank you for the opportunity and the ongoing support. The scholarship will no doubt make a big difference to my time at university. I look forward to keeping you updated about my progress.

With best wishes


Ryam Aslett

Sir Steve Smith Scholar

Profile - Ryan Aslett

Why did you chose to come to the University of Exeter?

The University of Exeter has been at the top of my list ever since researching different institutions at the beginning of secondary school. I especially found the Exeter Scholars programme to be incredibly helpful for people like me, and inclusive. Being part of the progamme has given me a chance to go on to do great things and I am grateful for that.

Why have you selected your chosen subject of study?

I enjoy studying geography, and the split discipline course at Penryn means that I am able to research both human and physical aspects of the subject allowing me to make a well-informed decision in whether I want to graduate with a BA or a BSc. The whole idea of being in Cornwall interested me, especially with the vast landscapes with easy access to the countryside and the sea for a greater understanding of what I am actually learning about; being able to see it for myself in the field will hopefully further my progress.

What career aspirations do you have?

With geography, I realise that there are multiple career paths for me, but education has always been one that has interested me. I have enjoyed mentoring in the past so to be able to complete a PGCE at some point, either before or after I move on to a post-graduate degree will allow me to do something that I am passionate about. Eventually, I would like to progress in teaching, and become a principal of my own school.

What will you be doing outside of study?

I am planning on joining both badminton and rowing societies to keep up with my fitness and attend some of the sessions at the GeoSoc for some advice about my studies.

What does this scholarship mean to you and how will it impact your time at Exeter and beyond?

The scholarship relieves a lot of my stress about money at university, meaning I will be able to reduce my hours at work to focus more on my studies. This in turn means that undertaking further study and achieving a post-graduate degree is now much more possible, so the award will have an on-going impact beyond my time at Exeter as I work towards my career goals.