HSBC has pledged £2 million to Stormzy’s #Merky Foundation, meaning 30 Black students, over the next three years, will be financially supported at the University of Cambridge.
The move represents a huge expansion of The Stormzy Scholarship programme, allowing another thirteen Stormzy Scholars to be admitted to Cambridge this academic year. Historically the programme has assisted six students per year. The programme, set up in 2018, currently assists 17 students, with a further two having already graduated with 2:1 honours.
The bursary offers each student £20,000 a year to cover both tuition and living costs, helping them to not only complete their studies but avoid mountains of student debt. The foundation can support students for either three or four years, offering funding to cover a foundation year to ensure acceptance to the top university.
HSBC UK’s donation is predicted to encourage other businesses to support the scheme, hopefully ensuring a long and lasting impact on Black students across Britain.
Already the number of Black students applying and being admitted to the University of Cambridge has risen dramatically. In 2017 the University admitted 58 Black students. Since 2018, the number of Black students admitted to the University of Cambridge has risen dramatically as in 2020 137 Black students were given places. This 50% increase has been dubbed “The Stormzy Effect”.
Stormzy has thanked the UK bank, saying “for 30 more Black students to have the opportunity to study at Cambridge University … feels like an incredible milestone. Thank you to HSBC UK for their significant donation and of course, Cambridge University for always backing our mission”.
He went on to say “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.”
HSBC UK’s chief executive Ian Stuart, added: “Education is a great equalizer and a powerful force for change. We are incredibly proud to support the growth of the Stormzy Scholarships at the University of Cambridge, helping remove barriers to higher education as part of our wider commitment to support racial equality in the UK.”