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As part of his ongoing mission to rebalance the cultural and ethnic make-up of entrants at Cambridge University, platinum-selling grime star Stormzy has called on HSBC to help send a further 30 Black and mixed-race students to the historic academic institution.
Each student will be given a £20,000 annual scholarship as part of a partnership between HSBC UK and Stormzy’s own charity, the #Merky Foundation. The scholarship will cover tuition fees and maintenance costs for 10 new students each year for the next three years.
“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,” Stormzy said.
Senior pro-vice-chancellor, Prof Graham Virgo, 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.”
It’s been a passion project of Stormzy’s for a few years now; he launched a campaign, The Stormzy Scholarship, back in 2018 to send two Black students to Cambridge each year. The reason behind the campaign, he said at the time, wasn’t just to offer financial assistance, but to encourage Black students to enter those spaces and remind themselves and those institutions that they do deserve to be there.
When he first launched the campaign in 2018, Stormzy was quoted as saying: “It’s so important for Black students, especially, to be aware that it can 100% be an option to attend a university of this calibre.”
“We’re a minority,” he added. “The playing ground isn’t level for us and it’s vital that all potential students are given the same opportunity.”
Stormzy’s initial efforts are already yielding major results. The first two ‘Stormzy scholars’ graduated this summer with a high 2:1 and 2:1. On top of that, there’s also been an uptick in the number of Black and minority students applying to the university, even without the scholarship, which has been dubbed ‘the Stormzy effect’.