The scholarship aims to support black students during their undergraduate degrees
When Stormzy’s not shaping the cultural zeitgeist with his agenda-setting live performances, or launching his own publishing imprint at Penguin, he’s covering the costs of two more black undergrads at Cambridge University this next academic year until the completion of their degree courses.
The grime star, who headlined Glastonbury this year, will pay the tuition fees and maintenance grants of the students as part of his Stormzy Scholarship, which funded the degrees of two black Cambridge students for the first time last year. By supporting these students, the scheme aims to tackle the low percentage of ethnic minorities attending Oxbridge institutions.
Announcing the scholarship’s second year, Stormzy said: “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.”
While the identities of the students who are supported by the scheme are anonymous to ensure their lives are as normal as possible (fair, tbh), Stormzy personally keeps track of their academic process, so no slacking! The London artist is currently funding the scheme out of his own pocket but hopes to develop other funding methods in the future to continue the programme with the help of outside investors.
University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, said: “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.”
It’s a well-known fact that prestigious Oxbridge universities have poor records for diversity. A report by Labour MP David Lammy found that 80 per cent of university places go to wealthy applicants. In 2017, Business Insider found that only 40 black students were accepted out of 2,210 places to Cambridge, and only 35 black students were accepted out of 2,210 at Oxford.
You can apply for the Stormzy scholarship here.