Stormzy and Cambridge University announce 30 more scholarships for black students


A further 30 black students starting at Cambridge University will have their tuition and living costs covered thanks to a scholarship scheme started by the rapper Stormzy.

The £20,000-a-year scholarships will fund ten new students each year for the next three years, supporting them for the duration of their degree courses.

The award-winning UK grime artist began providing scholarships at the university in 2018 in a bid to address the relatively low number of black students who attend Oxbridge institutions. He called the expansion of the programme “an incredible milestone”.

A new partnership between HSBC UK and the #Merky Foundation, the charity founded by the artist, will ensure that a further 30 “Stormzy scholars” are funded over the next three years. In 2017, the university admitted 58 black British students to undergraduate degree courses. In 2020, this rose to 137, a 50 per cent increase on the previous year that was attributed to the “Stormzy effect”.

Stormzy said: “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.”

The first two Stormzy scholars graduated this year with a high 2:1 and a 2:1. Professor Graham Virgo, senior pro-vice-chancellor, said: “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 the scholarship, applicants must have a confirmed place to start at Cambridge in October and be a British student of black or mixed-race heritage.