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Do you qualify for a £20k Stormzy scholarship?

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Written by: Emma Lunn
29/07/2021
HSBC has pledged £2m to support 30 new Stormzy Scholarships at the University of Cambridge over next three years.

The scholarships will fund the tuition fees and maintenance costs for 10 new students each year over the next three years, for a degree course of either three or four years’ duration.

The funding works out to £20,000 per student each year and is funded by a philanthropic partnership between HSBC UK and the #Merky Foundation, the UK charity founded by British musician, Stormzy.

The combined support of HSBC UK, the #Merky Foundation and an anonymous donor means the university is set to welcome a total of 13 Stormzy Scholars this autumn.

The move represents a significant expansion of The Stormzy Scholarship programme, launched in 2018, which to date, has supported six black students through their Cambridge education. The first two Stormzy Scholars graduated this summer with a high 2:1 and 2:1.

The Stormzy Scholarships are credited with helping Cambridge to attract more applications from a traditionally underrepresented group. In 2017 the university admitted 58 black British students to undergraduate degree courses. In 2020, this had risen to 137. This represented a 50% increase on the previous year and in turn was coined ‘The Stormzy Effect’.

Stormzy said: “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. Thank you to HSBC UK for their significant donation and of course, Cambridge University for always backing our mission. 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.”

Professor Graham Virgo, the University of Cambridge’s senior pro-vice-chancellor, 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, 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 Stormzy Scholarship applicants must:

  • have a confirmed place to start at Cambridge in October
  • be a home student (UK) of black or mixed race heritage
  • submit their application to the university no later than Friday 27 August 2021

The students will be selected from a list of applicants by a panel of university staff and experts from higher education.

Students from low-income families can also 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.

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