Back in 2018 Stormzy launched the Stormzy Scholarship, a programme that provided financial support to two UK-based Black students, helping pay tuition fees and maintenance costs for up to four years at Cambridge University. Now, the rapper has announced plans to help send a further 30 students to the university, as part of his ongoing bid to address the cultural and racial imbalance of students on its undergraduate courses.
Each student will be given an annual scholarship of £20,000, as part of the partnership between Stormzy’s #Merky Foundation and HSBC UK. This will cover tuition fees and maintenance for ten students each year, for the next three years.
“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,” Stormzy says in a statement. “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.”
Back in 2018, he also explained why “it’s so important for Black students, especially, to be aware that it can 100 per cent be an option to attend a university of this calibre”, telling 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.”
The effect of Stormzy’s philanthropy also extends beyond those that have received direct financial assistance, or a boost to their platform. The rapper was credited with a record number of successful Cambridge applications among young Black people — dubbed the “Stormzy Effect” — following his 2018 scholarship scheme.
“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,” Professor Graham Virgo, senior pro-vice-chancellor at Cambridge University, tells the Evening Standard. “We are very proud to see the first two students supported by the scheme graduate this year.”