Black Excellence: Rapper Stormzy Offers £20,000 Scholarships For 30 Black Students At Cambridge University

by Duke Magazine

British rapper Stormzy has further stretched his magnanimity towards giving 30 Black students scholarships worth £20,000 a year to study at Cambridge University.

Stormzy’s charity organization #Merky Foundation and HSBC will be reportedly paying for the tuition fees and maintenance costs of 10 new students each year over the next three years.

This is not the first time the grime artist would be giving back to the Black community. It could be recalled that in August 2018, he announced he would fund the tuition fees and living costs for two Black British students every year for the duration of their study at Cambridge.

Over time, the ‘Stormzy Scholarship’ has supported six Black students, with the first scholars graduating this summer with second class upper (Honors) degrees.

In recent years, the number of Black students applying to Cambridge has had an increase, credit to what can be called a “Stormzy effect”.

Last autumn, 137 Black students were admitted to the elite university – a rise of just over 50 per cent on the 2019-20 academic year. This followed a similar increase of almost 50 per cent in the previous year.

However, the new partnership with HSBC marks a significant expansion of the program. The bank has pledged £2 million, with an anonymous donor also contributing to the scholarship.

Stormzy said: “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. Thank you to HSBC UK for their significant donation and, of course, Cambridge University for always backing our mission.

“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.”

Professor Graham Virgo, Cambridge’s senior pro-vice-chancellor, said: “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 and we are very proud to see the first two students supported by the scheme graduate this year.

“We’re confident that they are starting out on an exciting journey which may not have been possible without the generous support of philanthropists like Stormzy.”

To be eligible for a 2021 scholarship, applicants must have a confirmed place to start at Cambridge in October and be a UK student of black or mixed race heritage.

Scholarship winners are selected from a list of applicants by a panel of university staff and experts from higher education, with the president of the Cambridge’s student African-Caribbean Society also sitting on the panel.

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