MATHS whizz Toby Chamberlain from Brinkworth is on his way to university with a four-year scholarship from the James Dyson Foundation in his backpack.

The 18-year-old, discovered he had won the funding, which means his tuition fees will be paid, when a representative from the foundation turned up at his school assembly to announce the award.

"I was shocked. Lots of my friends had applied for the scholarship too and I didn't expect to win it as out year is so strong and I didn't think I had a chance. It is absolutely brilliant!” he said.

"Going to university is a lot of money, and like everyone I was worried about my finances. I knew it would make such a big difference if I won the scholarship, so I could focus on my studies and on being successful at university.

“It is fantastic that I won’t have the worries that come with taking a loan,” he said.

"I am hoping to go to Oxford University to study Maths. I went to an open day there and thought it was brilliant, there was such a buzz – and I met lots of people who love Maths as much as I do! I know that I would learn a lot there and be challenged, too, which I think is really exciting."

“I love maths. Its capacity to help us explore the bounds of possibility really excites me. The James Dyson Foundation scholarship means that I’ll be able to dedicate myself to the subject I am passionate about and to making a success of my time at university, without the distraction of financial worries. I’m absolutely delighted to have won.”

One A level student from Malmesbury School is offered the scholarship every year to study science technology, product design, engineering or maths at university and competition is fierce.

This year’s students were asked to explain what inspired them about the degree subject they had chosen as well as writing a short essay on their favourite invention. Toby wrote about the cat’s eye and its place in improving road safety.

Founder and inventor James Dyson said: “Toby is a very clever young man with clear passion for his chosen degree. He is immensely eloquent when discussing the importance of maths in solving problems, and I have no doubt that he will make a great success of his time at university.”

Toby’s head teacher at Malmesbury School, Tim Gilson, said: “I’m grateful to the James Dyson Foundation who continue to support our students and I’m very proud of Toby. I look forward to hearing about his future success.”

Later this year the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology is also due to open at its Malmesbury headquarters providing aspiring engineers with an alternative to traditional university courses by enabling them to study for Warwick University degree while working in the firm’s global engineering team.

Mr Dyson explained: “The UK’s skills shortage is holding Dyson back as we look to increase the amount of technology we develop and export from the UK. We are taking matters into our own hands. The new degree course offers academic theory, a real-world job and salary, and access to experts in their field.”