Legal services student wins £10,000 Prize

Prize winner sees new investment market - the companionship industry - emerging by 2169.

Heather Ramsey, HND Legal Services student at City of Glasgow College, has won a new financial education competition.

As part of the legacy for its 150th anniversary year, F&C Investment Trust launched the prize fund with Scotland’s largest college to offer its students a prize-winning package that includes £10,000 for the winning student’s faculty to invest in research.  

Designed to showcase students' financial understanding, the competition asked them to unlock inventive ways to close the UK's financial knowledge gap. They could pick one of three categories to enter.

Paul Little, Principal and Chief Executive at City of Glasgow College said:

"Our congratulations go to Heather who is a very deserving winner. Our college, her faculty and friends are very proud of her achievement. We were delighted with the wide range of stimulating entries and the resulting student engagement with this partnership competition. As the first of its kind for an educational institution, I'm particularly pleased that such an innovative and creative submission has won."

Heather, from Bearsden, chose to submit an individual entry on the topic of "Growth: what can we expect in 150 years' time?" in a short video format which you can watch here.

Speaking about her winning entry, Heather said:

"I chose to tackle this particular question because I have always had an interest with the future of technology stemming from my obsession with dystopian future novels. I wanted to explore how the future might look and what problems my theoretical future might bring.

“There are certain challenges with answering a question that asks you to look 150 years into the future. For example, would a person in 1869 have been able to predict the rise of Amazon? Probably not, but they may have predicted the rise of high-speed global communication, as the slow speed of sending messages hindered the latter part of the 19th century. Pioneers, like Alexander Graham Bell, saw this need and found ways to overcome it.

“This thought-process helped me pick my topic. After watching a documentary on how people are becoming isolated, I thought the industry surrounding helping people become more connected to the world around them would be an interesting thing to investigate. So, I decided to explore a rising issue which may hinder the 'digital revolution': loneliness.

"I asked people, including my grandparents, what helped alleviate their feelings of loneliness. They said pets helped keep them in contact with the community, through chatting with people while walking their dogs; and the dogs themselves are a great sense of comfort. I also asked people around my own age if they felt lonelier than their parent's generation. Most said yes and suggested social media makes it easier to amuse yourself at home.

“I observed friends who treated their phones as 'living creatures' and expressed distress when their phones were 'hurt'. Which made me wonder if humans could form emotional bonds with robots which would become a form of companionship. I also read about people paying to go on 'friendship dates' in California, which brought out interesting questions about renting people as a source of companionship and this led me to discover Rental sisters for Hikikomori (shut-in's who spend all day online) in Japan.

“My research directed me towards my ultimate entry in the form of video for this competition, which I am utterly thrilled to have won.”

A team of judges were part of the process to award a final winner, comprising a member of college staff. Commenting on competition, they said:

Simon Fraser, Chairman of F&C Investment Trust: "The variety and quality of the entries were excellent, which made it very difficult to select a winner. The entries demonstrated that there is a clear need to improve financial education, particularly through the use of social media and other digital platforms. Thank you to everybody who took part. They put in so much effort."

Jamie McIvor, BBC Scotland Education and Local Government Correspondent: "There were many interesting and imaginative entries. But the winner was clear. Heather-Ramsey produced a well-researched concept and communicated it very well. As a communications and TV professional, I admired the effort. But special praise too for Leila Moeinaddini’s entry."

Milea Leone, Student President of City of Glasgow College: "Congratulations to Heather Ramsey who showed real creativity in her video submission that won so many votes. It was original, surprising and thoughtful."

Heather’s Prize Package includes:

  • The F&C Investment Trust Prize trophy
  • £10,000 for her faculty to invest in research, innovation or development; plus a laptop computer
  • Exclusive career training - offering guidance, mock interview questions and CV building tips
  • Special recognition at annual City of Glasgow College Student Excellence & Achievement Awards 2019
  • Special recognition on Graduation Day, in Graduation booklet, and Prize plaque on the College walls
  • Presentation lunch with F&C Investment Trust Board – for networking and opportunity for Q&A

Second place went to Finance Fanatics, Leila Moeinaddini took third place while Future of Finance were awarded a Highly Commended. All 15 competition entries can be seen here.