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UCL offers new scholarships for ‘Young, Gifted and Blocked’ students

20 February 2017

Dami Makinde, Let us Learn Project Worker. Image credit: Caroline O'Dwyer.

Talented undergraduate students denied the chance to attend university in the UK because their immigration status does not entitle them to apply for a student loan are to benefit from new full scholarships offered by UCL.

UCL has committed to providing £500,000 funding spread over six years to support six students who are unable to access government student loans, for example those seeking asylum in the UK who have only been granted limited leave to remain.

The new scholarship has been set up after youth organisation Let us Learn contacted UCL to raise awareness of its ‘Young, Gifted and Blocked’ campaign.

Plans for the scholarship have been announced during UCL for Refugee Education week (20-24 February), which aims to raise funds, increase awareness of the ongoing refugee crisis and provide an opportunity for UCL staff and students to come together as a community.

For three years from September 2017, two students a year will be awarded full scholarships to cover the cost of tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant for the duration of their course. Students will be able to apply to any UCL faculty.

The scholarship is an extension of UCL’s existing support to academics and students whose research and education has been disrupted, through its work with Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics), with whom the university has partnered since 2006.

Lesley Hayman, UCL’s Head of Global Partnerships, said: “UCL is committed to welcoming talented students from diverse backgrounds to study with us. This new scholarship reinforces our global outlook and focus on cultivating a diverse student and academic community, as well as our history of opening up education to those who would otherwise be excluded from it.”

Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, who coordinates UCL’s Staff and Student Support for Refugees network, said: “Our network has been working collectively since 2015 to ensure that UCL develops a meaningful and sustainable response in support of refugees and asylum-seekers, and we are extremely pleased with the university’s commitment to provide these scholarships.

“This is an invaluable step towards ensuring that our university is truly accessible to, and welcoming of, people affected by conflict and displacement. These scholarships provide sustainable foundations for students to be able to start and complete their studies.”

Dami Makinde, Let us Learn Project Worker, said: "I cannot express enough our gratitude to UCL for rewarding two ambitious and talented young people scholarships each year from 2017. We are extremely pleased and have been jumping for joy since reading your email."

UCL for Refugee Education is a joint effort between UCL Student Support & Wellbeing, UCLU and Student Action for Refugees.

Let us Learn was set up by youth justice charity Just for Kids Law in 2014. It now has over 600 members and aims to help ambitious young people overcome the barriers they face to further education.

Links

UCL for Refugee Education

UCL continues to support at-risk academics and students