By Natalie Wilkie
De Montfort University and the Unite Foundation, a charitable trust established in 2012 by Unite Students, the UK’s leading developer and manager of student accommodation, will be offering five scholarships to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds studying for an undergraduate degree at DMU from September 2014.
The scholarships will prioritise those least represented in higher education, in particular applicants who have spent time in care, and students who are carers for an adult family member.
The scholarships will provide free accommodation in a Unite Students property and £3,000 a year towards living costs for the full duration of the students’ study. The scheme is part of the Unite Foundation’s ongoing work to widen access to university for disadvantaged young people and to help intergrate students within communities.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard said: “De Montfort University is committed to the public good. Part of our mission is to help provide access to higher education for as many people as possible. This Unite Foundation scholarship, which adds to those already offered by DMU, further demonstrates this commitment, making university available to those who may have previously thought it was unattainable.”
The Unite Foundation currently offers scholarships to 56 young people studying at Universities across the country, providing support and widening access in line with the Foundation’s principles, with the aim to grow this to 150 students by 2015. Professor Shellard signed a memorandum of understanding with Paul Harris, Chair of the Unite Foundation on 2 May 2014.
Paul Harris, Chair of the Unite Foundation said: “We are pleased to be announcing this partnership which will further the work of the Foundation and help widen access to higher education in Leicester. Our scholarships provide much needed support to those who may otherswise have been deterred from applying due to cost barriers and commitments to caring for family.
“Social mobility means improving life chances and harnessing abilities and strengths for societal progress. The United Kingdom has one of the developed world’s lowest levels of social mobility. Education is a powerful driver of social mobility, and higher education institutions are gatekeepers to opportunity.”
The scholarship is administered by DMU. Students who apply for the scholarship must have been offered or are intending to accept a firm offer at DMU and must be starting their first year of university study and in receipt of a full maintence grant.