New partnership to provide scholarships for disadvantaged Black students

The University of Liverpool has partnered with the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation (CSF) to help improve access to higher education for Black British students.

Launched in June, the CSF aims to fund at least 100 disadvantaged Black British students through leading UK universities over the next decade.

Under the partnership, the University will cover tuition fees for at least three students from the 2021/22 academic year, with the CSF covering maintenance and living costs through links with business and individual donors.

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

The Foundation was set up by University of Liverpool alumnus and Professor of Musculoskeletal Science at the University of Southampton, Professor Richard Oreffo (BSc Biochemistry, 1983).

Professor Oreffo said: “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.”

The partnership follows the recent Russell Group ‘Pathways for Potential’ report, which highlights the key role that universities can play in removing obstacles and supporting the education of their most under-represented students.

Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool, said: “We are extremely proud to be partnering with the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation to provide scholarships for disadvantaged Black British students. This important new initiative provides an opportunity to harness education for positive change and supports our commitment and ongoing work to advance race equality at our University.”

The partnership with the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation follows several commitments to race equality that the University has taken in recent years. This includes the establishment of an Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) internal inquiry and working group, signing up to Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter, signing the joint National Union of Students and Universities UK Closing the Gap pledge, and becoming a member of Universities Studying Slavery to explore our own legacies. For more information about this work please visit

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