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24 April 2023

New partnership with Raheem Sterling Foundation provides scholarships for Black British Students

The Raheem Sterling Foundation has today (24 April 2023) announced a partnership with King’s College London and the University of Manchester, which will support 7 students at each university with scholarships over the next 3 years.

Abdi Farah, Professor Shitij Kapur, Clive Ellington, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Chris Bird
Abdi Farah, Professor Shitij Kapur, Clive Ellington, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Chris Bird

The aim of the scholarships is to help close the attainment gap for Black British Students, increase social mobility, and support equal access to higher education.

The first 2 scholarships at King’s will be available for students of Black, African and Caribbean heritage from socio-economically under-represented backgrounds, in the Greater London region, commencing degree programmes in 2023/24.

This opportunity will help young people access further education and present them with experiences and opportunities that will enhance their future career prospects. I hope this initiative will be a real game changer over the next few years and I am delighted to be working with two of the finest universities in the world. I wish the recipients of our funding all the very best and look forward to meeting everyone on campus in Manchester and London later this year.

Raheem Sterling MBE

Research shows in 2021/22, less than 5% of all UK students starting undergraduate degrees were Black. King's is one of the leading English Russell Group universities for social mobility, welcoming the highest number of Black undergraduate students and ranking 6th in the most recent social mobility index.

Raheem Sterling at the launch of the Raheem Sterling Foundation in 2021
Raheem Sterling at the launch of the Raheem Sterling Foundation in 2021

Widening participation in higher education makes both King's and the wider world a better place. We are delighted to partner with the Raheem Sterling Foundation to further our work in this area and enable more support for under-represented students to access higher education, achieve their aspirations and become the change-makers of the future.

Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal

King’s widening participation work is sector-leading and, through the university’s flagship K+ programme has helped over 6,000 students into higher education. This focus also includes King’s Sanctuary Programme which supports students and academics displaced by conflict and represents King’s commitment to society. These new scholarships will sit alongside a range of funding opportunities at King’s to support students from under-represented groups in higher education, including students from lower-economic backgrounds and care-leavers.

At King’s we are determined to remove barriers to higher education. From projects with our local communities in London focussing on mental health and wellbeing, to supporting students to achieve their ambitions to go to top universities, this is a core part of our purpose. We are excited to be partnering with the Raheem Sterling Foundation to continue to deliver on this important work.

Michael Bennet, Associate Director of Social Mobility and Widening Participation
Clive Ellington, Professor Shitij Kapur, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Abdi Farah
Clive Ellington, Professor Shitij Kapur, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Abdi Farah

Football player, Raheem Sterling MBE founded the Raheem Sterling Foundation with a mission to educate, empower and inspire young people to become better prepared for the future and to embrace opportunities to achieve greater social mobility. The Foundation is currently focused on initiatives in Kingston, Jamaica, Manchester and Brent to help and encourage greater social mobility, further education, and empowerment, and to facilitate young people despite the challenges they may face in achieving their full potential.

Michael Bankole, PhD politics student and Dr Sam De Canio, Senior Lecturer in Political Economy, who first reached out to the foundation with the idea of partnering with King's, have shared how a chance email resulted in this partnership

I reached out to Raheem because I was aware that he is committed to tackling racial injustice through his platform as a professional footballer. I was thrilled when his foundation got back in touch with me expressing a desire to partner with King's College London. These scholarships are going to be a game changer!

Michael Bankole, PhD politics student,

In 2020 Michael and I set up a fund to help support Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students in our department who, evidence showed were being disproportionately economically impacted by COVID. We wanted to build on this work to support social mobility, and we are thrilled that the Raheem Sterling Foundation is partnering with King's to deliver these scholarships, which are a wonderful example of how universities can work together with charitable foundations to help advance social mobility.

Dr Sam De Canio, Senior Lecturer in Political Economy

Applications for degree programmes commencing in 2023/24 close on 28 May. More information on eligibility criteria and the application process. 

In this story

Shitij Kapur

Vice-Chancellor & President of King's College London