British musician, Stormzy is delighted to announce the ‘The Stormzy Scholarship’, a brand new studentship scheme for University of Cambridge students which will see four British black students provided with financial support during their degree courses.
Announced by Stormzy himself during A-Level results day at his old school, Harris Academy in Crystal Palace this morning, the ‘The Stormzy Scholarship’ will cover the full cost of four tuition fees and provide a maintenance grant for up to four years of any undergraduate course. The first two students will start their courses at the beginning of the new academic year this October with two further students selected for 2019 entry. This year’s entries will be self-funded by Stormzy however, he hopes to engage more support from additional investors to become part of the scheme.
A showman like no other, double BRIT-Award winner Stormzy’s remarkable ascent has been accompanied by his honest and relatable character. A true spokesmen of black empowerment and social activism, Stormzy is one of the UK’s most inspiring young men who has consistently stood up for people from all areas of life, encouraging his fans and listeners alike to speak openly about their beliefs, vote and fight for their rights.
Despite achieving six A*s, three A’s and three B’s at GCSE, Stormzy didn’t attend university due to his developing passion for music.
Stormzy says: “There are so many young black kids all over the country who have the level of academic excellence to study at a university such as Cambridge – however we are still under represented at leading universities. We, as a minority, have so many examples of black students who have excelled at every level of education throughout the years. I hope this scholarship serves as a small reminder that if young black students wish to study at one of the best universities in the world, then the opportunity is yours for the taking – and if funding is one of the barriers, then we can work towards breaking that barrier down.”
In 2017, the University of Cambridge admitted fifty-eight black students on to undergraduate courses, a record high. That figure represents a third of all black students admitted to higher education in the UK that year who attained at least A*A*A at A-level (which is the average grade achieved by a Cambridge entrant). However, the University is committed to doing more to encourage young black students to aspire to the top grades to apply. Stormzy’s support, it believes, can help inspire new generations of black students. The University is also determined to ensure black students feel supported at Cambridge. Last year it announced an increase in funding for Target Oxbridge, a programme which helps black students secure places at either Cambridge or Oxford. Many of the Colleges host BAME themed conferences and the University has helped a number of young black student vloggers launch their online profiles.
The University of Cambridge’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, says:
“Stormzy is an inspiration, not just for his music but for his engagement on social issues and encouragement of young people. He has achieved great success in his career, but recognises that this was at the expense of his studies and the option of a place at a top university. He wants to inspire talented young black people who have their sights set on university to follow their dreams. The studentships are a beacon for black students who might otherwise have felt they could not come to Cambridge.
Last year, 58 new black students arrived to take up their courses at Cambridge, the largest number ever but not nearly as many as we would like. We know we need to work harder to ensure that black students not only apply to study at the university, but that they feel at home here and achieve their full potential.”