An Old Kilpatrick student has been awarded a prestigious summer scholarship to help towards his university degree.

Jack McKinlay will be starting the final year of his honours degree in psychology at the University of the West of Scotland in September after spending his summer working on a research project that will enhance his degree.

The Carnegie Vacation Scholarship is awarded to students from qualifying higher education institutions who want to undertake a programme of independent research during the holiday period which will be of direct benefit to their studies.

Jack’s research project examined parental beliefs towards the inclusion of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in mainstream schools.

Jack said: “Since beginning my university education, psychological research has been of great interest to me as I am fascinated by the understanding and implications that can come from such research.

“I currently volunteer at a school where I work with children and young people with additional support needs, including ASD. I understand the difficulties such children face and the need for support.

“It is my hope that the findings from my study can identify areas for intervention needed to help support parents’ understanding of inclusive education, meaning that this study has real life implications.”

This year, the scholarship – provided by the Carnegie Trust – was awarded to 75 students across Scotland, with 175 applications made.

Professor Milan Radosavljevic, vice-principal of research, innovation and engagement at UWS, said: “We believe in excellent, relevant and purposeful research, and the Carnegie Trust’s Vacation Scholarship gives our undergraduate students the opportunity to develop the skills which are central to this.

“We encourage our students at all levels to explore the topics which interest them, and I am thrilled to see the variety of subjects which this year’s Carnegie Scholars have chosen to investigate.

“I look forward to seeing their final projects – and I am confident that this is just the beginning for the next generation of UWS researchers.”