The Dr Ateh Jewel Education Foundation Award at Oxford University will support excellence and ambition among talented UK undergraduates of Black African, Black Caribbean and mixed heritage by giving students the opportunity to focus on their studies without financial concerns and achieve their full potential.
Dr Ateh Jewel is an award-winning journalist and diversity advocate, and has established this Award to offer targeted support to gifted students from low income families. It will ensure these bright and exceptional students can achieve their very best without the financial worries which may otherwise shift their focus.
Students will be empowered to use funds at their own discretion giving them the flexibility to create the perfect environment to thrive during their first year at Oxford.
Award winners will have the chance to enjoy activities or experiences that are not covered through alternative college or University financial support programmes. For example, students can use the funding to cover extra-curricular activities, buy equipment, additional supplies, kit for a particular sport, or to support the costs associated with undertaking an internship during the winter, spring or summer vacations.
The Award will be open to first-degree UK-resident undergraduate offer holders on any course of study. One-off payments will be made to three students at the beginning of Michaelmas term of their first year, launching in the 2022-2023 academic year, and initially over a three-year period.
The Dr Ateh Jewel Education Foundation is working with the University of Oxford before expanding the programme to encompass other universities.
Dr Ateh Jewel said: ‘I created the Dr Ateh Jewel Education Foundation because I believe the way to create true racial equality is to flood industry and culture with diversity and redefine what the default setting of power looks like. The more people in board rooms, CEOs and in seats of power who have different perspectives and stories to tell the better it is for everyone. I want to give rocket fuel to Black and mixed heritage students while they are in higher education as an investment in them and everything they will achieve for us all in the future. The days of Dickensian alms giving is over, this is about shouting and underlining that Oxford and seats of power are spaces for Black and mixed heritage students who in the past may have felt this was an institution not for them. Diversity is the win-win for society.’
Despite dramatically increased admission numbers in recent years, Black students from the UK are still underrepresented at Oxford and the Award further advances the University’s commitment to ensure recipients thrive whilst at Oxford and to ultimately encourage more applications. It also builds on the recently launched Oxford-Arlan Hamilton and Earline Butler Sims Scholarship, which highlighted the need for additional support in this area due to the quantity and strength of applications received.
Professor Martin Williams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at Oxford, said: ‘At the University of Oxford we are committed to accelerating the pace at which we diversify our student body and are united in our efforts to remove the barriers that students face. I’m therefore delighted that Dr Ateh Jewel has chosen Oxford for her new Award, which will be a valuable source of support in helping students focus on their studies without financial concerns and achieve their potential. Finance should not be a barrier to opportunity or education, and I hope this announcement of the Dr Ateh Jewel Education Foundation Award reminds Black students across the country that there are opportunities for them at the University.’