The Gift of Independence

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Lloyd's of London AASFriday 03 October 2014 – Lloyd’s Community Programme has awarded bursaries to support four students from inner London as they study away from home. (source: Lloyd’s of London)

This year’s A-level results saw the number of students accepted into university increase yet again. However, the escalating cost of tertiary education makes going away to university a dream for many students – with 13% of students opting for a university within 40 miles from where they live in a bid to save on expensive accommodation costs. 

According to the Money Charity the average cost of university halls of residence is £420 a month outside of London and £554 in the capital, a significant cost for many families. However, stay-at-home students miss out on other aspects of the university experience which studying in another town or city has to offer or may not have been able to choose the best university for their subject.

This is why Lloyd’s Community Programme set up a scheme to provide bursaries to students from Cambridge Heath Sixth Form in Tower Hamlets who have secured a place at a university outside of London.

Hopes for the future

Hear from the 2014 Lloyd’s university bursary winners and some of the other young people involved in Lloyd’s Community Programme about their experiences.

The scheme, now in its fourth year, provides each student with £5, 000 a year over three years to support their undergraduate studies. Unlike the previous three years, where three students were awarded bursaries, this year four students were picked thanks to the support of insurer AEGIS London sponsoring an additional bursary place.

Iveren Yongo, is using the bursary to pay for accommodation which she shares with her twin sister who is studying at the same university. She is upbeat about her first year studying chemistry at the University of Manchester and has just completed a summer internship at Travelers.

“I still feel so fortunate to have received the bursary, ” she says. “It has mainly been used to cover both our accommodation costs, which means that we do not have to worry too much about our food and travel costs, in particular.”

And the bursaries have been awarded to…

This year’s Lloyd’s University Bursary winners will also be travelling from London to study in universities around the UK. They are: Phuong Luong, Iftikhar Latif, Farhana Yeasmin and Azharul Uddin.

Uddin will be moving from East London to study mathematics and statistics at the University of Manchester. “When I heard the news that I was a recipient of the Lloyd’s bursary, I was over the moon, ” he says. “I could not hide my excitement and told all my friends”

He hopes to inspire other young people in the area he grew up in. “With hard work you can go for anything you want. When I left secondary school I never thought that I’d be in the position I am now and I didn’t know if I would be capable of getting the grades that I did, but I put my head down since the start of college and I can see the rewards now.”

Another bursary winner Latif will be reading Law (Jurisprudence) at the University of Oxford. He hopes to become a solicitor after he completes his degree with a longer term goal of getting into politics and becoming an MP within Tower Hamlets, where he grew up.

Latif is fascinated by the history and prestige of the university town where he will spend the next three years. “My parents have always encouraged me to aim for the best, ” he explains. “So in a sense it has always been a dream for me to study at Oxford.”

“The bursary is aimed at people from my school who were applying for university outside of London, ” he continues. “Not many people from my borough apply for a university in a different city so this was another incentive.”

“The financial support the bursary would provide was something I really thought I should try and obtain. I consider myself to be from a relatively disadvantaged background – neither of my parents have been to university – so the bursary provides me with the extra support I need.”

“I am quite proud of myself and see it as a fantastic achievement, ” he adds. “However, at the same time there is now a greater onus on me to perform well at degree level.”

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