The University of Oxford has launched a scholarship program for black students only two years after Stormzy’s offer to fund such a program was turned down.
The Black Academic Futures program is offering up to 10 new scholarships for students from the UK starting next year.
University leaders recognized that black students in the UK are severely underrepresented at Oxford, accounting for about 1.5 percent of all postgraduate students, compared to four percent at other universities.
The programme comes less than two years after rapper Stormzy offered to pay two black teenagers to study at Oxford, but said the elite institution didn’t want to be a part of it.
Instead, the musician said he turned his attention to Oxford’s longtime rival Cambridge, where his offer was accepted.
As part of the program, Stormzy paid the fees of two student in 2018/19 and two the following semester and gave them maintenance allowances for up to four years.
Oxford initially denied Stormzy’s comments, saying it had not accepted or rejected any offers but a spokesman later admitted that the university was responsible for the lost opportunity and insisted that they wanted talks continued.
The university says the Black Academic Futures scholarship aims to rapidly increase enrollment and funding for well-qualified black students in the UK, reinforcing its commitment to fighting racial inequality and discrimination.
In addition, universities and colleges have opened up further funding possibilities for underrepresented groups with scholarships targeted at humanities and law students.
Further action is being taken to expand participation in mathematics, physics, physical life sciences and medical programs.
The value of each scholarship depends on the cost and duration of the course. Students receive full payment for their fees which can last three or four years as well as a stipends.
It is being offered at a British Research Council rate, which is currently £ 15,285 per year but increases every 12 months, according to the Times.