British grime rapper Stormzy, to offer scholarship opportunities to two black British students to go to the University of Cambridge.
Stormzy, whose real name is, Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr, said he “had ambitions of studying at either Oxford or Cambridge when he was at school. He hopes that the scholarship “reminds young people from all backgrounds that they have the opportunity to get the best education.”
The Stormzy Scholarship will pay for tuition fees and maintenance grants for up to four years of an undergraduate degree. Stormzy will personally fund one scholarship this year, while the other will be funded by YouTube Music – who pledged its support after hearing that Stormzy would be starting the scholarship.
The support comes after Cambridge faced huge criticism for the lack of pupils from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
In 2017, only 58 black students were accepted onto undergraduate courses. In June, the university asked schools and parents to help increase the number of ethnic students.
In a video released by the university, The 25-year-old artist from Croydon, said: “I’ve always considered myself smart, not to be arrogant, but GCSE I got all the grades, then went to college and the transition was so difficult.
“But I didn’t even think about [societal problems]. I knew I was smart and that I could go to Cambridge. I didn’t even think about my criminal record – I thought it was just the merit.
“Hopefully this will show that it’s based on merit.”
Also in an interview with The BBC Breakfast show, the rapper said: “If you’re academically brilliant don’t think because you come from a certain community that studying at one of the highest education institutions in the world isn’t possible.”
In order to apply for this year’s Stormzy Scholarship, all applicants must be of black ethnicity and have received an offer to study at Cambridge.
The application deadline is August 30.
For the 2019 entry to Cambridge, students need to apply through UCAS by 15 October.
The students receiving the scholarship will be selected from a list by a panel of Cambridge University staff.