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Wizz Air CEO and co-founder donates over 1 million pounds for scholarship programme at the University of London


London, 23 April 2020 – The Váradi Scholarships, open to all University of London flexible and distance learning programmes, will offer up to 100 scholarships over the next ten years. The scholarships are particularly relevant in the current context of constraints on travel and economic impact of COVID-19 as these programmes can be taken anywhere in the world.

József Váradi

A graduate of Budapest University of Economic Sciences (called Corvinus University of Budapest today), József Váradi completed his LLM at the University of London in 2014, specializing in International Business Law.

He is a co-founder of Wizz Air and has been the CEO since 2003. Prior to this he spent ten years with Procter & Gamble in various managerial positions. József was named CEO of the Year in Central and Eastern Europe in 2018 (CEESAR Award) and represented Hungary at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year in the same year.

Establishing the Váradi Scholarships at the University of London in 2020, József has pledged to support up to 100 students from all over the world, with a particular focus on supporting those from Central and Eastern Europe.

“I believe that supporting the education of talents from Central and Eastern Europe is a high-yield investment in the future thanks to its life-changing and multiplier effect on individuals, families and the next generations“, says József Váradi.

In a 2017/18 University of London survey of applicants who did not register or complete their programme 33% stated they could not afford course fees and 42% were unable to secure funding to cover the course costs. Through the generosity of alumni and friends, students around the world can access opportunities that would otherwise have been closed to them and grow to be future leaders, shaping the world of tomorrow. 

Professor Mary Stiasny OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) and Chief Executive University of London Worldwide comments: “Education should be available to all with the ability to pursue it, regardless of their financial situation. Support for our scholarship programmes allows students from around the world, regardless of their personal circumstances, to improve their lives and the lives of their communities through education.”

The Váradi Scholarships continue the University of London’s founding mission of opening access to education and connecting worlds; it was the first university to introduce distance learning programmes anywhere in the world in 1858 and the first university in the UK to offer degree programmes to women in 1868. 

“Although we live in a world faced with economic problems, political tensions and global inequalities, there is no question in my mind that University of London graduates contribute to raising standards across the world through an appreciation of the opportunities for progress, and an understanding of the need for greater tolerance and respect as the basis for a more harmonious and equal world”, comments Professor Wendy Thomson CBE, University of London Vice-Chancellor.

The Váradi Scholarships will be open to all new University of London students, from anywhere in the world, studying any of our programmes delivered through flexible and distance learning. Applications will be considered only once an offer of a place has been made by the University. For further details and how to apply, please visit the scholarships webpages