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UCL to provide bursaries for students from developing world

7 March 2007

UCL today sealed an agreement with United World Colleges to fund full bursaries for overseas students from the global education network who would otherwise be financially unable to study in the UK.

Africa Educational Trust and United World Colleges logos

From the academic year 2007/8, UCL will fund two bursaries annually for final-year students from the United World Colleges network to study any undergraduate degree at the university. The bursaries will cover full tuition fees and a maintenance allowance. It will also fund travel between the UK and the students’ home countries at the start and end of their course and for two family members who wish to attend their graduation ceremony.

Students will be selected on the basis of their financial circumstances and the quality of an essay discussing social responsibility, leadership or globalisation. The scheme is in line with the ethos of United World Colleges, which brings together students from all over the world – selected on personal merit, irrespective of race, religion, politics and the ability to pay – with the explicit aim of fostering peace and international understanding.

Keith Clark, United World Colleges’ Executive Director, said: “I am absolutely delighted that UCL has created these two bursaries. So many students come to the United World Colleges on scholarships, and they also require financial support to progress to university – especially those from countries that do not have well-established systems of higher education. Thank to the commitment of many US universities and one extraordinarily generous donor, many find places with the necessary funding in the USA, and it is great that UCL is now showing the way by providing opportunities in the UK.”

UCL has also agreed to fund two bursaries annually to enable African students to study for an undergraduate degree at the university through the Africa Educational Trust, which works to help young African people who have been affected by conflict to gain access to education that will help them contribute to the development of their communities and countries.

Dr Michael Brophy, Director of the Africa Educational Trust, said: “The Africa Educational Trust is very excited about this cooperation with UCL. It sees it as a very constructive way to enable young people in Africa from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds to access high quality university education in the UK. When these young people complete their degrees and return to work in their home countries, we know that it will have a very positive impact on development in Africa.”

Professor Michael Worton, UCL Vice-Provost (Academic & International), explained why the bursaries are an integral part of UCL’s global strategy: “One of the biggest challenges for UCL as a global university seeking to bring the brightest students from all over the world to study and research here, is how to identify outstanding students from underprivileged backgrounds in the developing world. These bursaries, run in partnership with the Africa Educational Trust and the United World Colleges, will make a significant contribution to our ability to enable international students financially unable to study in the UK to pursue undergraduate studies at UCL.  My sincere hope is that we can build on these important partnerships and create ever more similar bursaries that take UCL's Widening Participation provision and activities into the wider world.”

To find out more about the bursaries and UCL’s global strategy, follow the links at the top of this article.

By Lara Carim, UCL Communications