Swansea Student awarded first ‘Texas’ funded scholarship

A Swansea University student will be swapping his beach shoes for cowboy boots when he kicks off his second year of study in Texas.

Medical Engineering student David Rochelle has been awarded the first British American Foundation of Texas (BAFTX) funded scholarship to study at Texas A&M University (TAMU). 

David, whose home town is Cannock in Staffordshire, will be starting his studies in Texas in October spending his first semester at TAMU before continuing his studies back at Swansea.

David Rochelle

Receiving his scholarship certificate David said: " I'm honoured to have received the BAFTX award. The exchange programme is a fantastic scheme as it allows you to further yourself both academically and culturally. It is excellent that scholarships like this are available to students such as myself and I am very grateful to have received it."



Swansea is believed to be one of the first UK universities to receive funding for students going to Texas; most awards are provided to Texan students undertaking study in the UK. BAFTX have committed to increasing the number of scholarships to 3 for 2014/15.

The Swansea-Texas A&M student exchange scheme was launched in 2012 with the first cohort of TAMU students spending a semester at Swansea last spring/summer and the first group of Swansea students travelling to Texas in the autumn of 2012. While the original focus of the programme was Bioengineering, the success of the scheme to date means that from this year, it has been expanded to allow students studying Chemical and Medical Engineering to participate.

The undergraduate exchange programme is part of a wider strategic partnership between Swansea and Texas A&M, which also includes research collaboration, knowledge transfer, sharing of infrastructure and the exchange of academic staff. The exchange programme with TAMU is part of a wider Swansea initiative to encourage more students to study abroad for part of their degree.

David Rochelle, Ian Cluckie and Raoul van Loon

Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Ian Cluckie said: " We are very grateful to BAFTX for their support of our student exchange programme with Texas A&M University. This programme is a key part of our strategic partnership with TAMU, offering our students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study at one of the US's top universities, and in so doing, laying the foundations for future international collaborations."



Susan Howard. President at British American Foundation of Texas said: " We are delighted to be able to support the student exchange link between Texas A&M and Swansea University, which is already going from strength to strength. We hope the connections forged through the programme will last a lifetime, bringing benefits to Texas and Wales."  

Picture 1: Left to right – David receiving his scholarship certificate from Pro VC Professor Ian Cluckie.

Picture 2: Left to right – Dr Raoul van Loon, Associate Professor in the College of Engineering, Student David Rochelle, Pro VC Professor Ian Cluckie.