Scholarship announced to support Black British students applying to Oxford Brookes University

Student using a laptop
Oxford Brookes University is partnering with the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation

Oxford Brookes has partnered with the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation (CSF) to support three students as part of the Foundation’s broader mission to increase higher education access for 100 Black British students over the next decade.

During this decade, three Black African or Caribbean students from lower socio-economic backgrounds will be supported throughout their undergraduate study at Oxford Brookes. The scholarship covers UK tuition fees and a maintenance stipend for each year of their course to support living costs. The scholarship is available to UK undergraduate applicants and the first will be awarded to a student with a confirmed offer to commence study in September 2023. 

Professor Lucy Mazdon, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “I am delighted that Oxford Brookes University is partnering with the wonderful Cowrie Scholarship Foundation. Access to university should not be limited by race or social class yet barriers remain in place for many. We are committed to ensuring the inclusivity of our community at Oxford Brookes and part of that is doing all we can to encourage and support widening access. We want all students to feel they can belong and thrive at Brookes. Our Cowrie Scholarships in support of Black British students will be an important part of that endeavour and we look forward to welcoming our first Cowrie Scholars in the near future.”

The scholarship aligns with Oxford Brookes’ ongoing commitment to widening access and participation, as well as the University’s broader work in support of race equality, diversity and inclusion. In 2021, Oxford Brookes signed up to the Advance Higher Education Race Equality Charter. The University recognises that addressing racial inequalities and improving the representation, progression and success of Black students are significant issues for the higher education sector. UK higher education cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population and until individuals from all ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities it offers. 

Oxford Brookes delivers a range of pre-enrolment programmes to support progression to higher education, from our extensive outreach with schools and colleges, to our targeted 18-month Brookes Engage programme for sixth-form students. This scholarship further expands the broad range of financial support that Oxford Brookes has put in place to support students. We are also committed to ensuring inclusivity is designed into our curriculum and broader learning environment, and have dedicated programmes to support progression to graduate employment.

Professor Richard Oreffo, Professor of Musculoskeletal Science at the University of Southampton and Founder of the Foundation, added: “We are absolutely delighted in this new partnership with Oxford Brookes University to provide scholarships for Black British students over the next decade that has the opportunity to transform lives. Together we will equip the next generation of Black British students with the education to make a difference in their lives, our lives and the world.”

Eligible students can apply via Oxford Brookes’ Cowrie Scholarship webpage. Further eligibility criteria are also outlined on this webpage. The application deadline for the first award is midnight on Sunday 30 April 2023. Oxford Brookes will inform the first successful applicant in July 2023.