London borough offers students extra funding

Teenagers in one of London’s most deprived boroughs are to receive grants from their local authority to help them attend university.

May 25, 2013

Four hundred students in Tower Hamlets, in east London, will receive payments worth £1,500 each under the Mayor’s Higher Education Award scheme, it has been announced.

The scheme, which will cost £1.26 million over the next two years, is designed to increase the low numbers of young people attending university in the area.

Only 35 per cent of young people in Tower Hamlets progressed to higher education last year, with just 800 heading to university in total, the council said.

It follows a similar scheme by Cornwall Council, which has committed £1 million towards student bursaries this year, which will rise to £3 million in coming years.

“Tuition fees have meant the cost of university is simply too daunting for many students in Tower Hamlets,” said the borough’s mayor Lutfur Rahman.

“This innovative new scheme is aimed at helping more of our young people realise their full potential.

“For local teenagers who thought university was a pipe dream, I hope this will change their minds.”

Cabinet member for children, schools and families, Oliur Rahman said: “Achieving a better education is better for the student, better for the student’s family and better for the borough.”

The Mayor’s Higher Education Award builds on the Mayor’s Education Award – a scheme, now in its third year, in which school leavers are given grants to help them stay in education.

Details about which students will be eligible for funding from the Mayor’s Higher Education Award will be announced at the scheme’s official launch on 1 July.

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Reader's comments (1)

Presumably even the identified potential high academic achievers from this group perhaps attending disadvantaged State schools, will also require some enhanced 6th form preparation to try for a liberal arts/sciences/medic type of university, which typically require very high grades in A levels as prerequisites. Maybe some of this money should also be allocated to help fund tuition fees or top up salaries for Higher Apprenticeships. As an example the new BBC 'Broadcast Engineering' Degree/Apprenticeship(100 trainees or so this year) looks an impressive template for those seeking a work-related qualification. More of this kind are rapidly being wound out.

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