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Madagascar plane fall: Alana Cutland fund will help 'push boundaries'

Alana Cutland Image copyright Cutland family
Image caption Alana Cutland had been studying natural sciences at Robinson College in Cambridge

A bursary set up in memory of a Cambridge University student who died after falling from a light aircraft in Madagascar will allow other female students to "push the boundaries of their knowledge", her college said.

Alana Cutland, 19, from Milton Keynes, fell from the plane on 25 July and her body was found on 6 August.

Her parents have raised almost £25,000 through crowdfunding for the bursary.

The money will also help a school in a village near where her body was found.

The Robinson College student had been on an internship on the African island.

Police previously said Ms Cutland fell to her death after opening a plane door, but the reason she did this remains unclear.

Image copyright Cutland family
Image caption Ms Cutland was on an internship in Madagascar when she died

Ms Cutland's parents, Neil and Alison, began raising funds "in memory of our beloved Alana" a month ago and have said they continue to be "overwhelmed" by the generosity of those who have pledged money.

The Alana Cutland Fund at Robinson College, would "invite grant applications from female undergraduate students undertaking academic research in science subjects," her parents said.

In a statement, the college thanked both the Cutland family and donors.

"This will provide women students with the chance to push the boundaries of their knowledge, and add to the field of science, providing opportunities that may have otherwise been out of their reach," the college said.

The funds will also "directly help the villagers of Anjajavy and the surrounding area," Mr Cutland had previously said.

"This is an extremely poor region, and for the villagers to leave their farms and spend 10 days searching for Alana was extraordinarily generous," he said.

He said the family plans to work with a charitable foundation to "immediately purchase some urgently needed items of equipment for the [village] school" and to build a new classroom.

Posting on Twitter, he said: "There is no doubt now that the fund will achieve great things in both Madagascar and Cambridge."

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