The University of Oxford has denied that they turned down Stormzy’s scholarship offer, after it was announced that he will subsidise two black British students to attend the University of Cambridge.
Stormzy announced that he originally approached Oxford with the offer at an event for his new publish platform, #Merky Books.
Oxford has since clarified that there was “no developed proposal” for funding undergraduate scholarships “to accept or decline”, and that they “take responsibility for missing this opportunity”.
They added: “Oxford University is committed to widening access and participation for all students from under-represented backgrounds.”
“We admire Stormzy’s commitment to inspire and support black students to succeed in higher education.
“We have contacted Stormzy’s representatives today to clarify we would welcome the opportunity to work together on inspiring students from African-Caribbean heritage to study at Oxford.”
The university’s African and Caribbean society (ACS) crowned Stormzy as its person of the year in 2017. The award was conventionally given to black Oxford alumni.
We have contacted Stormzy’s representatives today to clarify we would welcome the opportunity to work together on inspiring students from African-Caribbean heritage to study at Oxford
– University of Oxford
In the same year, Stormzy donated £9,000 to an Oxford student’s crowdfunding campaign, allowing her to raise £12,000 in less than 24 hours to study at Harvard University in America.
In 2016, as a guest speaker at the Oxford University Guild, Stormzy shared that it was his dream to study political science at Oxford, and that he “always thought Oxford is better” than Cambridge.
Earlier this year, he revealed the Stormzy Scholarship, which will fund the tuition fees for and provide a maintenance grant to two black British students for up to four years of an undergraduate course at Cambridge.
The application deadline for this year’s scholarship was on 30 August. For 2019 entry to Cambridge, students had to apply through UCAS by 15 October. Successful applicants were selected by a panel of university staff.
Explaining his motives, Stormzy said: “It’s so important for black students, especially, to be aware that it can 100% be an option to attend a university of this calibre. I always said that there’s a whole bunch of academically brilliant, excellent students who also need an incentive.”
“In school and college I had the ability and was almost destined to go to one of the top universities. But that didn’t happen for myself,” he said, “So hopefully there’s another young black student out there that can have that opportunity through my scholarship.”
He continued that this achievement is a testimony to his mother’s hard work, and added: “We’re going to have young black students who are academically brilliant and smashing it, and they should just have that opportunity to walk into a university like Cambridge.”