Oxford Announces New Bursaries for 100 Poorest Students
After a record £75 Million donation from a former Oxford student and his writer wife, students from low-income families will receive a bursary to reduce fees and help with living costs at the university. The donation effectively means the tuition fees hike will not affect many of Oxford’s poorest students.
The donation, made by Welsh-American Venture Capitalist, Christ Church College alumnus and former journalist Michael Moritz and his wife, American author Harriet Heyman, with matched funding, is part of a £300 Million financial assistance package. This is being hailed as the largest bursary support package in Europe.
With the £300 Million package, Oxford aim to eventually build a bursary programme to support all Oxford students from low-income families through university. Moritz declared that this funding ensures there are “no financial barriers” to studying at Oxford University.
The Moritz-Heyman Scholarship will hand over £11,000 to 100 of Oxford’s poorest students this autumn. The package ensures students have no upfront fees and living costs to worry about, provides financial assistance during holidays and will help open doors to employment by way of a tailor-made internship programme.
According to Mr Moritz, “We hope that these scholarships touch a lot more than just the individual recipients and beneficiaries of the awards. Because as those students graduate, and go on to pursue whatever their passion in life becomes, we hope that their work will then touch many more people, as they pursue careers in science, or in business, or in the arts.”
In a move which is similar to leading US institutions such as Harvard, which abolished fees for students from families earning under $40K long ago, Oxford hope to extend the bursary programme over the years to include all poor students.
Oxford’s vice-chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, said: “Oxford is already offering the most generous undergraduate support package in the country. But this remarkable and hugely generous gift and initiative from Michael and Harriet allows us to go an important stage further towards our goal of ensuring that all barriers – real or perceived – are removed from students’ choices.”