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University of London launches new Scholars Programme


University of London launches a new £2m initiative today as part of its commitment to closing the attainment gap between students.

The initiative will support 30 students every year across the University of London federation, providing a range of financial and pastoral support throughout the duration of their studies. 

The initiative is in support of the University of London’s strategy to help young people across London flourish – while narrowing social, economic and health inequalities. As well as aiming to close the attainment gap between students, its central purpose is to provide significant funds to help with tuition fees and the cost of living for ‘estranged’ students, [1] those from ethnic minority backgrounds, and students with experience of living under the care of a local authority.

From October 2022 and for the next three years, the University will make an annual commitment of up to £700,000 of funding – available to 30 new students who are registered for a course of study at the University or any of its 17 independent federal member institutions. This will include 20 students who are resident in London and a further 10 students from anywhere in the UK, who will be eligible to receive free accommodation at one of the University’s halls of residence.

The programme will complement and build on the substantial resources which are already being invested in the delivery of widening access and participation programmes across the University of London federation. Collectively, the 17 independent federal member institutions are investing more than £200m over a five-year period (2020-25).

The University of London, which intends to seek additional funding from philanthropic organisations and individuals who share its vision, is also proud to be part of the London Anchor Institutions’ Network: this initiative will also support London’s recovery from the pandemic by providing significant opportunities for those in London as part of its core access mission.

Professor Wendy Thomson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, said:

“We are delighted to be launching the University of London Scholars Programme, which will help improve access to education and to enhance the life prospects for students who are based here in London.

“These scholarships will provide support to students who might otherwise have difficulty studying at one of the federal members of the University of London. As a first-generation university student myself, I have experienced the benefits of higher education, and I’m incredibly proud that the University of London will continue to do our bit to actively encourage individuals to realise their potential.”


[1] A person aged 25 or under at the time of enrolment and has experienced an irrevocable breakdown in their relationship with both of their biological or adoptive parents and often their wider family, for a significant period of time (usually 12 months).
This includes students who have been living in foyer or hostel accommodation, have been disowned or are estranged from their parent or guardian.

Background to the University of London’s Scholars Programme

  • The total funding commitment from the University of London is expected to be between £600,000 - £700,000 - with an annual review of funding commitments for the 2022/23 academic year and the following two years.
  • Each of the 17 independent federal member institutions will select recipients for a University of London Scholars award, based on their own access and widening participation criteria.