stormzy is launching a cambridge university scholarship for black students

The grant will fund two students this year and two next year, through four years of undergraduate study.

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16 August 2018, 11:23am

Photography Oliver Hadlee Pearch 

Good news for aspiring undergrads on A-level results day: Stormzy has launched a scholarship for black students hoping to attend Cambridge University.

Stormzy will fund two students this year and two next year, through four years of undergraduate study. "It's so important for black students, especially, to be aware that it can 100% be an option to attend a university of this calibre,” Stormzy told the BBC. "We're a minority, the playing ground isn't level for us and it's vital that all potential students are given the same opportunity."

He’s not wrong. Figures released in June showed that some Cambridge colleges didn’t admit a single black student between 2015-2017. In response, a spokesperson for the university told The Guardian, “statistics published two weeks ago show 22% of UK students admitted as part of the 2017 admissions cycle identify themselves as having a black or ethnic minority background. This is a record high.” And while it’s good the stats are improving, we’re struggling to see how 22% is anything to shout about.

Things are hardly better at traditional rival Oxford. As The Guardian reported in May, figures show one in four of colleges failed to admit a single black British student between the same years. And while it’s brilliant that Stormzy is using his platform to give young black students their own, it doesn’t take a genius to point out that the onus shouldn’t be on him to give young people access to these places. As MP for Tottenham David Lammy tweeted: “Oxbridge should follow its Harvard/Yale peers and offer all disadvantaged students who get the grades full scholarships. With a combined wealth of £21bn, they can certainly afford it. This would begin a much-needed process of serious structural change.”

Credits


Photography Oliver Hadlee Pearch
Styling Max Clark