£4.8 million bursary fund launched for university students by UK finance firm


Funding will improve the access to employability opportunities for underserved, low income and BAME university students in the UK
Funding will improve the access to employability opportunities for underserved, low income and BAME university students in the UK

A LEADING finance firm has launched a £4.8 million bursary fund for university students, with 60 per cent of support going to ethnic minorities.

JPMorgan Chase and the Sutton Trust announced the endowment fund last week, to improve the access to employability opportunities for underserved, low income and BAME university students in the UK.

It will provide students with bursaries to help them access critical enrichment opportunities and improve their employability, a spokesperson said. The bursaries will assist finance opportunities such as internships, study abroad programmes, volunteering experiences, additional courses or training, and essential living costs – including accommodation, subsistence and study materials.

It was confirmed around 60 per cent of the bursaries will be targeted at ethnic minority students, to reflect the additional barriers that these communities face.

Viswas Raghavan, CEO of J.P. Morgan in EMEA, highlighted the structural barriers further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, affecting young people from low income and ethnic minority groups.

“Good jobs are key to social mobility and improving the employability of disadvantaged students is an important first step towards a promising, sustainable and well paid career,” Raghavan said.

According to research, the number of students not taking part in work experience or studying abroad was up by more than half, from 23 per cent pre-pandemic to 37 per cent. Almost two-thirds of students from working-class backgrounds said they were living at home this term – meaning they have lost out on a “full university experience and all the enrichment and growth opportunities it presents”.

The application process for the bursaries will start this summer and cover students’ participation in a wide range of activities and events beyond their core academic course. It was confirmed bursaries would be offered in every academic year.

Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, said he was “delighted” with the new partnership.

“We will be able to offer support to hundreds of Sutton Trust alumni in the decade to come,” he said. “This will enable them to take part in truly life-changing experiences which will build important skills such as communication, resilience, confidence, motivation and leadership; skills which previous Sutton Trust research has shown are highly valued by employers.”

Previously, JPMorgan have supported ethnic minority students and leaders through efforts such as the Advancing Black Pathways and New Skills at Work programmes. They have also set up front office investment banking apprenticeships for school leavers and a £2 million philanthropic investment to support minority-led non-profit organisations in London.

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