Goldsmiths are offering £1.4 million of financial support for new undergraduate students starting in 2014.
This will include nearly 300 scholarships and bursaries which students will not have to pay back.
The scholarship programme will give priority to young people from low income backgrounds who live in the local boroughs.
Goldsmiths will pay full tuition fees for ten of Lewisham’s most talented young people. The tuition fee waivers will be worth a total of £27,000 each and will cover the costs of three years of study.
Lewisham-born, Maimunatu Sillah, who gained a full bursary for her Social Work degree last year said: “Goldsmiths was always a university that I thought I would never be accepted into so it was a shock when my application was successful. It broke down all my stereotypes about the place.”
“Goldsmiths hasn’t let me down so far – my advice to someone who thinks Goldsmiths might be out of their league is not to have any stereotypical thoughts, it isn’t necessarily what it seems to be.”
Not only does Goldsmiths give priority to local residents, it also prioritises students with disabilities and those who have been in care, offering a range of scholarships for disabled students and care leavers.
In addition to this, the Goldsmiths programme offers scholarships for students outside of Lewisham, providing ten partial fee waivers for students from the four ELL boroughs and Lambeth, Southwark, Greenwich and Newham. These scholarships will pay for half of their university fees and be worth £13,500.
Howard Littler, Goldsmiths Campaigns Officer commented on the programme: “Goldsmiths goes notably further than other universities in investing in widening access and we welcome this. However we believe the college can and should go even further.”
“Accessibility in to education for working class kids should not be dependent on how philanthropic any one university is feeling, that’s why Goldsmiths students repeatedly vote to support free education and full living grants for all students. Education is a public and societal good and shouldn’t be limited to those who can afford it.”
Littler also argues that fee waivers should be replaced with cash-based scholarships: “They are much more useful to students (this is backed by NUS research) and I’ve been personally reassured by management that fee waivers will in future be replaced by cash bursaries.”
Goldsmiths bursary scheme does not only give priority to local residents, it also prioritises students with disabilities and those who have been in care, offering a range of scholarships for disabled students and care leavers.
The programme will also provide travel bursaries which cover the cost of an annual travel-card for some of those who gain scholarship places.
Applications for the scholarships will open in March 2014 and students will be able to choose which bursary they wish to apply for.