Academic jets off for live final of entrepreneurial reality TV show

Andrew MartinAn academic at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen will fly to Ghana today (Thursday 17 November) to take part in the live final of The Challenge, an Apprentice-style reality TV show organised by the British Council, where he will offer the winner an all expenses scholarship to study for a postgraduate degree in the Granite City.

Andrew Martin, Director of the Scottish Centre of Tourism at Aberdeen Business School, will form part of the judging panel in Friday’s live final, which will be broadcast from the Ghanaian capital, Accra, and is expected to attract over 4 million viewers.

The five finalists will be put through their paces by Andrew and his fellow judges competing in various live tasks in front of a studio audience of 750. Each will give a personal pitch to convince the board why they are best suited to study at the Aberdeen institution.

As well as demonstrating business savvy, the contestants must show their commitment to social issues in the final by identifying a community, highlighting educational issues in this area and offering workable solutions.

Andrew, who lectures in tourism, business and leadership, is looking for a highly motivated and talented individual. He explains:

“The winning scholar will have sound business acumen and be able to analyse and evaluate clearly. I’ll be watching for someone who holds the ability to make sense of the final challenges quickly and identify key issues.”

The scholarship at RGU will include all tuition fees, accommodation and living expenses, including travel from Ghana to Aberdeen. The winner will be able to choose from any of the one-year postgraduate masters courses offered by the university although business and engineering are expected to be particularly popular.

The finalists, narrowed down from 12 original contestants, have battled it out for the top prize over 13 weeks, living together whilst taking part in various challenges including a sales task, charity task and pitching a new product. Each week, one of the contestants has been evicted by a panel of judges and the public vote.

RGU was given the opportunity to participate in The Challenge, now in its third year, as a result of its international reputation in oil and gas and business education - areas that are of particular interest given Ghana’s buoyant oil sector.

Diana Yanney, Corporate Affairs Manager at the British Council in Ghana, said:

“All the contestants have benefited hugely from the competition, developing key skills for their future careers and providing inspiration to a large audience of young Ghanaians to aim high and build on their potential. 

“The scholarship will provide the winner with an amazing opportunity and also build stronger links between the UK and Ghana.”

Andrew adds: “I’m really looking forward to participating in the live final with the other judges to ultimately choose the best scholar to come and expand their knowledge and expertise at RGU.”

The Challenge final will be broadcast live from the College of Physicians and Surgeons Centre, Accra, at 8pm (GMT) on GHOne TV and streamed live from the GTV website.                                                                


Notes to editors:

  • Photographs of Andrew Martin and the five finalists are available on request from the Communications Office (details below). 


Issued by:

Sarah Grieve

Communications Officer

Robert Gordon University



AB10 1FR

Tel: 01224 262206