Brookes scholarship scheme for local students wins top award

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Minister of State for Higher Education, David Lammy MP, applauds Brookes scholarship scheme.

A scholarship scheme that helps exceptional students from Oxfordshire and the wider region to study at Oxford Brookes University received a prestigious national award last Thursday.

The Minister of State for Higher Education, David Lammy MP (pictured centre), visited Oxford Brookes and met with students who have benefited from the scholarship on Monday 27 October.

The scheme gives state schools in the region the opportunity to nominate students who face barriers to studying at university a scholarship from Brookes for three or four years worth £1000 a year.

The Hon David Lammy said: “We must ensure that the most talented and hard working young people are given every chance to achieve their full potential, whatever their background. Any scheme which seeks to help our most disadvantaged young people reap the benefits higher education has to offer must be applauded.

"Studying for a higher education qualification can broaden horizons in new and exciting ways, and is a real investment for the future with graduates enjoying better career and earning opportunities which is why is why we will have increased investment in higher education by 30 per cent in real terms by 2011."

Last week Brookes came top out of six shortlisted universities by the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine for being the institution offering the most outstanding student financial support package.

The scheme was launched in 2007 and 17 schools in Oxfordshire nominated students. It was so successful that the University decided to expand the scholarship scheme to all state schools and colleges in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire (including Milton Keynes) and Berkshire. This year almost 50 students were nominated by local schools.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janet Beer, said: “The community scholarships are key part of Oxford Brookes’ commitment and contribution to our region.

“The community scholarship scheme is there to help break down the barriers that stop people going to university. All our community scholars have, in their own way, demonstrated great drive and determination to reach university level study.

“Many of their achievements have been motivated by generosity and concern for others and I am delighted that the University recognises and values these qualities as well as academic success."

The THE award was judged by the higher education Office for Fair Access (OFFA). Sir Martin Harris, director of OFFA, said: “I am particularly impressed by the way Oxford Brookes has used the scheme to form new relationships with local schools and colleges, taking the opportunity to raise aspirations. The success and ambition of the scheme is clear – after starting with a pilot in the first year, Oxford Brookes is now rolling out the scheme to all state schools and colleges in its region.”

Ann Mroz, Editor, Times Higher Education, said: “Oxford Brookes’ engagement with its local community, raising the ambitions and financial awareness of young people, is to be applauded. The scheme offers marvellous support to local students who might not otherwise have gone to university throughout their time in secondary education and looks like it will go from strength to strength.”

All state schools and colleges in the region can nominate a student or wants to study at undergraduate level at Brookes. They must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Successful role model to other students
  • Commitment to study
  • Potential to succeed
  • Overcoming of personal or social difficulties