New College launches scholarship for Black British students

Image description: Oxford city skyline with the Radcliffe Camera included 

New College has recently launched a scholarship aimed at economically disadvantaged Black British students.

The Robert Allen Perkins Scholarship, it is open to all successful applicants who identify as Black British and qualify for the Oxford bursary (having a household income of under £42,875).

The scholarship will provide a fully funded place at oxford for the between three and four years depending on the length of the course. This will mean not only a grant to cover course fees in total but also a grant towards living costs with the aim of enabling those student sin receipt to graduate debt free.

Priority will be given to applicants whose household income is assessed as £27,500 or less. Applicants with a household income of between £27,500 and £42,875 may also apply.

The application includes a statement of between 500 and 1,000 words explaining why the scholarship would be beneficial to your studies at Oxford, how it might help you to achieve your academic goals, and how your education would be of future benefit to your community and/or society. Obligations when successful include an annual report to New College, outlining how the scholarship has benefitted your studies.

Black British students are traditionally underrepresented within Oxford University.  A 2013 study found that only 1.1% of the student body identified as Black British. However this has improved in more recent years. The proportion of UK-domiciled students admitted to Oxford who indicate in their UCAS application that they identify as Black has risen from 1.3% in 2016 to 3.7% in 2020.

It is hoped that this scholarship will continue to aid better representation and inclusion of Black British students at Oxford and encourage more applications.

Miles Young, Warden of New College, says, “The opening of Oxford to Black British students has been an important work in progress in the last few years. It is not just a question of admitting those students, but also helping support the most disadvantaged of them while they are here. The Robert Allen Perkins Scholarship is designed to do exactly that. We are proud to launch it.”

Mufaro Mutsatsa, New College JCR Faith & Ethnic Minorities Officer, says, “As a Black British student at New College, I am genuinely happy to hear about the introduction of The Robert Allen Perkins Scholarship.

My personal experience has shown me the value of a support base that is both academic and financial during studies at Oxford. One major obstacle in my journey to this university was the fear that I would not fit in to the academic and cultural environment. At the time, I was not exposed to many examples of Black British students from working class backgrounds studying at Oxford, and I did not know of any access programmes that targeted Black students specifically…

I believe that it is really important that we reach out to more Black students from lower income backgrounds, so that talented, capable students will have the confidence to apply. Part of building that confidence is ensuring that candidates from lower income backgrounds can be assured that they will be financially supported in completing their studies to the best of their ability.”


Image credit: Chen Chen