Outlander's Sam Heughan Has Launched a Scholarship for Emerging Talent in Scotland

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Photo credit: Rich Polk - Getty Images
Photo credit: Rich Polk - Getty Images

Outlander is one of the many shows whose next season has been delayed thanks to the pandemic. Sam Heughan has put the downtime to good use, launching a new scholarship to support emerging talent in his native Scotland.

Heughan returned to his own former drama school in Glasgow this week, where he unveiled his plan to help launch the careers of future Scottish screen and stage talents. The actor graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2003, and is now funding a new scholarship program there, plus a scriptwriting competition. Both initiatives are in his name.

"So proud to create the Sam Heughan Scholarship and scriptwriting competition," Heughan wrote on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. "Had a welcome return to my RCS roots to support the students as they pursue their dreams at Scotland’s national conservatoire, one of the world’s top three destinations to study the performing and production arts."

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Heughan went on to explain that over the next decade, the scholarship will provide support to three students per year, and will also award a scriptwriter to give them any aid they need in their chosen field.

According to the Radio Times, two Scottish students will receive financial support to enable them to take places on the acting degree course, and one non-Scottish student will receive financial help to take a place on any course across the schools of drama, production, film, and dance.

In a message filmed during his visit to the school, Heughan reflected on his own experiences as a student there. "I came here many years ago and just recall how difficult it was for me then and, obviously, in the current environment, especially with the pandemic, things are equally or doubly as hard for students," he said. "I really wanted to create a scholarship that would support young students. I learned so much from [the RCS]—just the support that they gave me and even now, the community that they've built."

He continued: "It felt really important to be able to give back. I feel very lucky in my career and where I've found myself in the industry. To help inspire some of the students as well and to support them because I know that there's so much creativity and talent coming out of this very special building."

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