cambridge admitted a record number of black students this year

It’s been dubbed ‘the Stormzy effect’.

by Mahoro Seward
11 October 2019, 11:23am

In what’s been dubbed ‘the Stormzy effect’, the University of Cambridge has admitted an unprecedented number of black British students as first-year undergraduates. This spike in engagement apparently follows on from the grime artist’s widely publicised offer of fully-funded scholarships to black students at one of the world’s foremost academic institutions.

With 91 black British students will be joining this year’s class, a near 50% increase on the 61 admitted last year, it takes the total number of black undergraduates at the collegiate university above 200 for the first time. Stormzy, however, isn’t the only one to be thanked for this encouraging boost in diversity at what is, historically, a predominantly white university. YouTuber and Cambridge alumna Courtney Daniella has also played a significant role in debunking myths about the Cambridge application and student experience, which, with its antiquated quirks and traditions, can intimidate anyone who wasn’t pre-initiated at Eton. Basically, she’s been doing the polar opposite of what Caroline Calloway did when she was there.

All the same, while this statistical boost is an encouraging one, much work remains to be done. While the admission of 91 students may be celebrated as a significant jump, it’s a drop in the ocean when considered in the context of the 3000+ undergrads admitted to the institution each year. And diversifying the historically elitist Cambridge experience doesn’t begin and end with admissions: the altering of curricula to reflect the full extent of cultural production beyond the West is another requirement for a truly diverse educational experience. Sadly, it remains far from a reality at Cambridge and other many other prestigious institutions in the UK.