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Newcastle University supports Black British students with new scholarship

Written by Current Affairs, News, On Campus

The University’s partnership with the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation (CSF) will provide any successful Black British applicants with a free undergraduate course, as well as covering living costs.

The scholarship will provide mentorship, role models, and resilience programmes for the students, in addition to funding both tuition and maintenance fees.

Newcastle University is one of only five universities that will offer this scholarship from October 2021. The tuition fees of at least three students a year will be covered by the University for over a decade.

Access to University should not be limited by race or social class, but unfortunately this is not the case for all in our society

Chris Day, Newcastle University Vice Chancellor

This support comes in response to the disadvantages Black British students face in higher education. Founder of the CSF, Professor Richard Oreffo, said the institution aims to “address a significant barrier: the financial cost of university education”. He acknowledges, however, that there are many other factors in place that have an impact on Black British students and their university prospects.

A Gov.uk investigation into ethnicity within undergraduate degrees for the academic year 2017/2018 found that 30.9% of white graduates achieved a first class degree. This was compared with 14% of black graduates achieving the same grade. These were the highest and lowest percentages out of all the ethnicity groups examined, demonstrating the disadvantage of black university students.

The charitable foundation was established earlier this year and intends to raise £500 000 to fund these scholarships. It seeks to provide 100 scholarships to disadvantaged Black British students that attend leading universities in the UK.

Vice Chancellor Chris Day told Newcastle University’s press office that “access to university should not be limited by race or social class, but unfortunately this is not the case for all in our society. The financial cost of going to university can often be a barrier, so these scholarships could transform the lives of Black British students”.

To apply for the scholarship, most candidates must live in the UK and be of Black African or Caribbean heritage. They must also have a confirmed place for entry to Newcastle University for a first undergraduate degree. This requirement also includes mixed race applicants.

The applicants will also have to be assessed for a fee status as a ‘home’ student and have already applied to the relevant Student Finance body for a tuition fee and maintenance loan.

Feature Image: PxHere

Last modified: 29th October 2020

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