Stormzy scholarship for Black Cambridge University students expanded
A further 30 Black students will have their Cambridge University costs covered as part of a scheme by Stormzy.
The £20,000-a-year scholarships will fund the tuition fees and maintenance costs for 10 new students each year for the duration of their three-year degree courses at the University of Cambridge.
The award-winning grime artist began providing scholarships for Black students at the university in 2018 to address the low number of Black students who attend Oxbridge institutions.
“For 30 more Black students to have the opportunity to study at Cambridge University – the same year our initial 2018 scholars graduate – feels like an incredible milestone,” said Stormzy. “I hope this scholarship continues to serve as a small reminder to young Black students that the opportunity to study at one of the best universities in the world is theirs for the taking.”
A new philanthropic partnership between HSBC UK and the #Merky Foundation – the charity founded by the artist – will ensure that a further 30 “Stormzy Scholars” are funded over the next three years.
The Stormzy Scholarships are credited with helping Cambridge to attract more applications from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.
In 2017 the university admitted 58 Black British students to undergraduate degree courses.
In 2020 this rose to 137, representing a 50 per cent increase on the previous year and in turn was coined “The Stormzy Effect.”
The first two Stormzy Scholars graduated this summer with 2:1s.
Professor Graham Virgo, senior pro-vice-chancellor at the University of Cambridge, said: “Since the Stormzy Scholarships were announced in 2018 we have seen a significant increase in the number of Black students applying to study here and being admitted and we are very proud to see the first two students supported by the scheme graduate this year.
“We’re confident that they are starting out on an exciting journey which may not have been possible without the generous support of philanthropists like Stormzy.
“With the launch of our Foundation Year, for admission next year, we will be in a position to support a lot more students who have experienced educational disadvantage on their path through higher education.”
Ian Stuart, chief executive of HSBC UK, which has pledged £2 million to support scholars, said: “Education is a great equaliser and a powerful force for change.
“We are incredibly proud to support the growth of the Stormzy Scholarships at the University of Cambridge, helping remove barriers to higher education as part of our wider commitment to support racial equality in the UK.”
To be eligible for a 2021 award applicants must have a confirmed place to start at Cambridge in October, and be a home student of Black or mixed-race heritage.
Applications must be submitted to the University no later than August 27.
The students will be selected from a list of applicants by a panel of university staff and experts from higher education. The President of the University’s student African-Caribbean Society also sits on this selection panel.
Students from low-income families can apply for awards of up to £3,500 a year from the Cambridge Bursary Scheme. In the 2019/20 academic year, almost £8.5m was distributed to a total of 2,711 students.