A North-East university is lighting the way for under-represented groups including ethnic minorities to find a personal pathway to success.
Working with CBRE, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Santander Universities UK, Northumbria has established new scholarships for academically talented students, from traditionally under-represented groups, who want to study at the University.
Around 40 per cent of the University’s students are from under-represented groups, with 65 per cent coming from the North-East region, where school attainment and progression into Higher Education are the lowest nationally. Thanks to Northumbria’s philanthropic partnerships, the university is providing scholarships for students from a range of backgrounds.
Dan Vaughan, Associate Director, CBRE explained: “Encouraging and supporting women into our sector is a business aim. The Facilities Management Scholarships we are funding further provide opportunities for talented women to choose this career path and gain the qualifications they need to succeed.”
Scholarships are especially important for students from under-represented groups to ensure financial barriers, such as reduced government funding, fear of debt and low family income, are not the deciding factors when choosing to study, or progress to a higher level of study.
Asian Standard has learned access to finance is a significant barrier for students from these groups who want to continue their studies at postgraduate level, with loans providing mainly for tuition fees, leaving very little, if anything at all, to support living costs.
Laura James, Talent Attraction UK/IRE, Enterprise Rent-A-Car added: “The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Scholarship supports academically talented students from low-income backgrounds. We know for these students their biggest worry isn’t achieving the grades they need to secure a place at Northumbria, but how they’ll afford their living costs while they study.”
The new scholarships provide £2,000, each year, to support living costs for undergraduate and postgraduate scholars. In addition, students can apply to undertake a paid twelve-week internship with a local SME, also funded by Santander, helping prepare them for the world of work and add value to the local economy. Last year, using this funding, Northumbria arranged 260 internships.
“It’s crucial we look to close the inequality gap and the way we achieve this is through targeted individual support, said Scott Burnett, University Relationship Manager, Santander Universities UK.
“It’s important that we allow students to focus on their studies without the worries of financial insecurity and help individuals to overcome barriers in pursuing their academic ambition.”
Scholarships and internships like these are being funded with money raised by the University’s fundraising campaign, Higher Education Without Barriers. Northumbria is partnering with alumni, businesses, and other supporters to establish a fund providing a range of financial initiatives, mental health and wellbeing services, and community-based projects, to make participation and progression in higher education more achievable for academically talented students, regardless of their social or economic circumstances.
To find out how your business can get involved, contact James Wilkinson at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/giving