100 Black British students to have university places funded by new scholarship programme
More than 100 financially disadvantaged Black British students are to have their university tuition fees fully funded by a new scholarship programme.
The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation (CSF), has partnered with 26 UK universities to support Black British students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford their place at university.
The charity has secured more than £2.8million from universities to fully fund tuition fees for more than 100 students over the next decade.
The Foundation is now seeking support from businesses and donors to match the funding commitment to support the students’ maintenance and living costs.
The CSF, which launched in 2021, has secured generous partnerships with 26 UK universities including The University of Manchester who have generously agreed to cover tuition fees and provide additional support for 11 Cowrie scholars in 2022 and 2023. Imperial College London have agreed to support six Cowrie Scholars from 2023 with not only tuition fees but also a package of support to aid living costs in partnership with CSF.
The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation’s (CSF) vision is to transform 100 disadvantaged Black British student lives through education with attendance at UK universities.
Each of the 26 partner universities, have agreed to cover the tuition fees for at least three students over a decade, with the Foundation covering maintenance and living costs through links with business and individual donors. The first wave of students are already benefitting from the funding grants. The next aim is to unlock the £2.8M from 26 universities with matched funding from businesses to enable socio-economically disadvantaged Black British students attend UK universities on full scholarships. CSF will then continue to raise funds, eventually forming an ecosystem, and then to finance scholarships through endowments. Business can make a significant difference with internships, workshops and in providing role models and mentorship underlining the important role of business support.
We are extremely proud to have entered into a long-term partnership with The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation to provide scholarships for talented Black British students for whom there may be financial and social barriers to accessing higher education. We believe this is an important opportunity to harness education for positive change. It reinforces our ongoing commitment to provide an environment for students from a wide range of backgrounds to thrive.
Professor Richard Oreffo, Professor of Musculoskeletal Science at the University of Southampton and CSF Founder, a registered charity, said: “Access to university should not be limited by race or social class, but unfortunately, this is not the case for all in our society. This is a positive agenda to level the field for disadvantaged Black British students. We all have a collective responsibility to make a positive difference for the society we want. With the cost of living crisis having a significant impact we need support now more than ever.
“I believe, higher education has the power to transform lives and with the support of universities and businesses we can make a difference not only financially but with internships, role models and workshops. The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation seeks to address a significant barrier: the financial cost of university education and these new scholarships will make a major impact on students’ lives.”
Kesiah- Cowrie Scholar 2021 cohort said: “CSF has opened doors for me that I never thought would be possible. I don’t feel as financially limited, and opportunities are in abundance.”
Professor April McMahon, Vice-President Teaching, Learning and Students said: "We are extremely proud to have entered into a long-term partnership with The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation to provide scholarships for talented Black British students for whom there may be financial and social barriers to accessing higher education. We believe this is an important opportunity to harness education for positive change. It reinforces our ongoing commitment to provide an environment for students from a wide range of backgrounds to thrive.”
The issues around the participation of disadvantaged Black British students in higher education are complex. Progress in widening access and supporting student success must continue from early school years and, as indicated by a Russell Group Report Pathways for Potential, the rate of change concerning participation of Black students needs to improve. Issues around progression, application, attainment gap, well-being of disadvantaged students and expectations are also all factors.