Scholarship scheme set to expand access to HE

The University has joined a new foundation to improve Higher Education access for disadvantaged black British students.

The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation is aiming to raise £500,000 to provide scholarships for 100 students over the next decade.

Edinburgh will cover tuition fees for at least three students over ten years. The Foundation will provide the students with additional funding to help with their living costs.

Edinburgh is one of the Foundation’s four partner universities, along with Queen Mary University London, Newcastle University and the University of Southampton.

Tackling inequality

The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation was established in the summer of 2020 by Professor Richard Oreffo, from the University of Southampton.

Initial funding has come from the business community and individual donors, with a longer-term aim of developing a system of endowments. 

Access to university should not be limited by race or social class, but unfortunately this is not the case for all in our society. While many issues are at play in why more black British students do not attend leading universities, the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation seeks to address a significant barrier: the financial cost of university education.

Professor Richard Oreffo

Access for all

Edinburgh’s support for the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation will complement the University’s extensive programme of widening participation for all.

The University’s Widening Participation team works with would-be students at a local, national and international level to encourage and support the best and brightest to study at Edinburgh, no matter their personal circumstances or background.

In May 2020, the Russell Group – which brings together the UK’s leading universities, including Edinburgh – announced ambitious plans to improve higher education access for all.

The Pathways for Potential report set out a detailed action plan to diversify campuses and assist under-represented groups into Higher Education.

Higher Education has the power to transform lives – not just of those who study at Edinburgh, but also for their families and communities. I am proud that we are part of the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation, which will help our ongoing commitment to ensure that students from as wide a range of backgrounds as possible can not only study here, but feel that they truly belong and have the opportunity to thrive.

Professor Peter MathiesonPrincipal, the University of Edinburgh

Related links

Support the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation here

Widening Participation at Edinburgh