Stormzy Says Oxford University Turned Down His Scholarship Offer

He now offers the initiative with Cambridge.


A few months back Stormzy announced that he would be launching a scholarship that would help fund two black students attend the University of Cambridge.

Now the grime artist has accused Oxford University of rejecting his offer to fund two scholarships for black students prior to Cambridge accepting the initiative.

Stormzy was speaking at the Barbican in London, where he was launching his book Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far.

“We tried Oxford but they didn’t want to get involved,” Stormzy said.

Describing the inspiration behind his scholarships, the musician said he wanted to find the “genius and incredible minds” within the “badly behaved kids”.

“That is something I take personal pride in. I am always very inspired by that genius and … people who are smarter than me. Now I am in this position I want to do something for them.”

When Stormzy announced the initiative he said: “It’s so important for black students, especially, to be aware that it can 100% be an option to attend a university of this calibre.”

Following Stormzy’s comments the University of Oxford has denied claims it rejected an offer to fund two black students through a scholarship scheme.

It told Radio 1 Newsbeat it “admires” his commitment but it had not “received or turned down any offer or proposal”.

The Financial Times recently revealed that some Cambridge colleges didn’t admit any black students from 2012 to 2016.

The university says it admitted 58 black students to undergraduate courses in 2017.

They have also appealed to parents and schools to help increase the number of black students enrolling in at the university.

Discussing the imbalance, Stormzy says: “We’re a minority, the playing ground isn’t level for us and it’s vital that all potential students are given the same opportunity.”

Stormzy recently announced a partnership with Penguin Books, with the aim of giving a platform to young writers.

Merky Books will become a “platform for young writers to become published authors” with the intention of giving people an outlet to have their work published.

#Merky Books can now be a reference point for them to say “I can be an author” and for that to be a realistic and achievable goal. Reading and writing as a kid was integral to where I am today and I from the bottom of my heart can not wait to hear your stories, your poems, your novels, your sci-fis and then getting them out into the big wide world.”

As part of the initiative, the collaboration will be offering a paid internship in 2019 as well as running school competitions and taking writing submissions.


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