Between 2012 and 2016, Cambridge University colleges admitted as few as one or even no black students – a gross rate that 25-year-old English rapper Stormzy hopes to change by funding two full scholarships for black students to attend the prestigious university.
“We are still under-represented at leading universities,” Stormzy said in a statement. “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.”
While in school, Stormzy recalls his intelligence being celebrated and him being encouraged to seek higher education at schools like Oxford and Cambridge. He had hoped to attend Oxford before his musical career picked up, leading him down a different path, The Guardian reports. But such ardent support, Stormzy recognizes, is not always present in the lives of students from low-income backgrounds.
“If you’re academically brilliant, don’t think because you come from a certain community that studying at one of the highest [educational] institutions in the world isn’t possible,” Stormzy said during an interview on BBC Breakfast, The Guardian reports. “When students are young, academically brilliant and getting great grades, they should know that’s an option.”
To apply, applicants must be black and have received acceptance into Cambridge University and submit their application by the August 30 deadline. The two students chosen will be selected by a panel consisting of university staff.
“The studentships are a beacon for black students who might otherwise have felt they could not come to Cambridge,” the University of Cambridge's vice-chancellor, professor Stephen Toope, said on the university’s website. “Last year, 58 new black students arrived to take up their courses at Cambridge, the largest number ever but not nearly as many as we would like. We know we need to work harder to ensure that black students not only apply to study at the university but that they feel at home here and achieve their full potential.”
Stormzy will be funding two of the same scholarships for Cambridge next year, as well.
Liking this content? Check these out: