Scholarship students question University Chancellor

Posted on Monday 20th February 2012

Eight of the University of Birmingham’s scholarship recipients met the University’s Chancellor, Sir Dominic Cadbury, in a reception designed to introduce him to scholarship students funded by his generous support of the University’s Access to Birmingham Scholarship Scheme.   

The Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme is designed to encourage talented students from families and communities in the West Midlands who have little or no experience of Higher Education to gain access to the University of Birmingham. The University of Birmingham was one of the first universities to offer an innovative access scheme for local students and this model is now much copied in the UK.  

Every year, 100 students, who participate in the programme and who perform particularly well in their A levels are awarded an A2B Scholarship of £1,200 a year for the duration of their course. These Scholarships are funded entirely by generous donors as part of the University’s ambitious Circles of Influence fundraising campaign.

Sir Dominic Cadbury, University Chancellor, Campaign President and donor explains:

“I decided to personally support this scheme because it offered me the chance to help make it possible for people to come to Birmingham who might not otherwise have the opportunity. I hope scholarships like this can make choosing to go to university an easier decision to make.

“The advantage of having a university education and the experience you get are major assets when you start your career. Universities open up possibilities for people that they would not necessarily have elsewhere. I am delighted to meet the scholarship students, all of whom are the first in their families to go to university.”

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Sir Dominic Cadbury and the scholarship students

During the reception, the University’s Chancellor questioned the students on their courses, their first impressions of Birmingham and how they were enjoying living in student halls. The breadth of subjects the scholarship recipients are studying was noted by Sir Dominic who found a shared passion for golf with one of the students currently studying Sport and Exercise Sciences. The students then turned the table on the Chancellor and questioned him about his plans for the future.

First year joint honours Political Science and Sociology and scholarship student, Lauren Quincey comments:

“The scholarship scheme gives advantages to people who don’t normally have such good opportunities available and it inspires you to want to achieve and do well. University has been a life-changing and extremely enjoyable experience for me so far; my favourite thing about Birmingham is definitely the campus.”

First year Psychology and scholarship student, Samuel Nunney adds:

“This has been a great opportunity for me to prove my ability whilst knowing I have some stability during my studies. I am really enjoying university so far and have made some amazing friends already; I’m amazed at how quickly I felt comfortable at Birmingham.”

Sir Dominic finished the reception with some words of advice for the students, encouraging them to enjoy their time at the University and take away the friendships that they are currently cultivating. He noted that friends you make at university are friends for life, and wished them luck for the future.

Launched in 2009, the Circles of Influence campaign set an ambitious target to raise £60m to support the research into critical issues that affect us all, to open the University to talented students regardless of their financial circumstances, and to develop the University's beautiful campus to provide world-class facilities for our students, staff, and the people of Birmingham. Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends, the first phase of the campaign has been completed and the second phase has begun. 338 A2B scholarships have been awarded so far and it is hoped many more scholarships will be funded in the future.

For more information and to find out how you can donate to the Circles of Influence campaign, please contact Nick Blinco on 0121 414 6953.

Notes to Editors

• Images of the reception are available on request

• To view the report and gallery from the recent Leaders of Tomorrow event which celebrated the successes of the A2B scheme, internships, and other Student Support Programmes, please visit: Leaders of Tomorrow report.

For media information, please contact Amy Cory, University of Birmingham Press Office via 0121 414 6029 or a.cory@bham.ac.uk