Unite launches bursary scheme

Disadvantaged students can benefit from bursaries from student accommodation provider UNITE and the University.

Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea, Principal; Mark Allan, Chief Executive of UNITE; Professor Mary Bownes, Vice Principal, launch Unite's new bursary scheme

Under the new scheme, six students joining the University in the 2012/2013 academic year will receive free accommodation at UNITE’S Portsburgh Court for the duration of their study.

Each student will also have £3,000 per year towards living expenses.

Tuition fees

The bursaries will be targeted at UK students outside Scotland from disadvantaged backgrounds, who might otherwise view the cost of university as a barrier to their aspirations.

Recipients, who will be selected by the University, will be among the first tranche to be affected by increased tuition fees.

The University prides itself on offering a generous bursary package to students from the rest of the UK - who do not benefit from the Scottish Government’s decision not to charge tuition fees - to ensure that funding is not a deterrent to studying at Edinburgh.

Financial support

We are proud to be working in partnership with the University of Edinburgh in helping to ensure that financial considerations should not be a barrier to a world-class university education for those with talent and potential.

Mark AllanChief Executive of UNITE

UNITE recently consulted 1,200 prospective students in an attempt to understand what effect the new tuition fees might have on their decisions.

When asked why they felt able to go to university given the fee increase, 17% claimed the main reason was that they would be eligible for a bursary or other financial support.

Sister schemes

The bursary scheme will be administered by UNITE’s charitable trust, the UNITE Foundation.

The Foundation will launch later this year with the objectives of supporting widening access to university for disadvantaged young people and integrating students in communities.

In celebration of UNITE’s 21st birthday, a total of 21 students will benefit from bursaries through sister schemes also being launched at Sheffield Hallam University, King’s College London, and University of Bristol.

UNITE’s aims to extend the number of bursaries offered each year so that by 2016, 140 students are supported within the scheme.

With the pressures on the public sector purse strings, it has never been more important for the private sector to invest in young people in this way, ensuring that those from poorer backgrounds have the same opportunities that others take for advantage and remove barriers that might prevent them achieving their potential.

Mark AllanChief Executive of UNITE