UoB launches £1 million scholarship programme to support Black-heritage students

The new programme will aim to address the lack of representation in higher education across the UK

The University have announced plans for a new programme of scholarships that will support “around 130 Black and mixed-Black heritage students”, taking place over the next four years. The funding is planned to total over £1 million.

These scholarships will not only be offered to undergraduate students, but to those completing courses up to PhD level.

The scholarships will cover five areas, with twenty of these being awarded to undergraduate students. A bursary will be provided, along with targeted support from the Careers Service to aid with employment once education is completed.

Last year, Student Inclusion Officer Robiu Salisu and Masters student Yannick Yalipende led the ‘Be More Empowered for Success Program’, which supports Black Asian Minority Ethnic students.

Students can also apply for the three Post-graduate scholarships on offer, which encourages students to progress to Masters programmes. This is a part of the University’s Widening Participation scheme, that “is committed to the diversification of our postgraduate student body.”.

To students wishing to pursue Post Graduate Research Masters, £125,000 will be used to fund four to five students within the research community.

Scholarships are also available to four PGCE applicants to increase participation in teaching, whilst two scholarships to study a Masters in Black Humanities will be given annually. These will “fully fund two teachers to complete the unique interdisciplinary course,” with the option to complete it either full or part-time.

Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, Vice President in the National Union of Students, has said: “Financial concerns are one of the primary barriers to Black people progressing into Higher Education. The Black Bristol Scholarship Programme empowers students to continue their education and gives them the freedom to access resources and support they might not otherwise have.

“The moment you empower and enable students, you give them the agency and the ability to push for better.”

“The Black Bristol Scholarship goes a long way to showing the University of Bristol’s commitment to doing better by Black students. The moment you empower and enable students, you give them the agency and the ability to push for better, to bring change, to feel included and to feel valued in their communities.”

“The new Black Bristol Scholarship Programme, funded by donations from the University’s alumni and friends, is the latest in a series of initiatives by the University to overcome the historic barriers to education. It builds on the University’s existing work including the Be More Empowered Success Programme and a new collaboration with CARGO to connect students with Black-run businesses and community organisations in the city.”

Professor Judith Squires, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor, has also commented on the new scholarships: “I am thrilled to be launching this new Black Bristol Scholarships Programme.  We are determined to create a diverse and inclusive university community and recognise that positive support is needed to address the historical under-representation of Black and Black-heritage student in particular.

“This will help to make our University a truly inclusive environment for everyone.”

“Thanks to the support of our alumni and friends, I am confident that together with our other initiatives to support our Black students and to decolonise the curriculum, this will help to make our University a truly inclusive environment for everyone.”

The University has seen an increase of 44% in BAME student enrolment in recent years, with the view to continuing this progress with the introduction of these scholarships.

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