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University pledges £200k to benefit talented students

15 June 10

Vice-Chancellor Mark Cleary with Scholar Iqbal Hussain

The University of Bradford has pledged to spend a further £200K in scholarship and hardship funding this year to help talented individuals from across the world.

The University of Bradford has pledged to spend a further £200K in scholarship and hardship funding this year to help talented individuals from across the world. 

Having already helped 124 students with £200K in this academic year the University is now continuing its major commitment to helping deserving students transform their lives.

The University of Bradford has a strong record of attracting UK students from non-traditional backgrounds, with the last recorded figures (2007/08) showing the University had 18.5 per cent of students coming from low participation neighbourhoods, compared to a sector average of 11.4 per cent, and 52.2 per cent of students coming from low socio-economic groups, compared to a sector average of 35.9 per cent.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark Cleary, said: “Our students come from a very diverse range of backgrounds and many struggle to get here due to financial circumstances.  We are proud to help talented UK and overseas students who, without these scholarships, would usually otherwise not be able to attend university.

“These students tell us how a university education truly changes their life, and often the lives of their families too. We are committed to helping people from a truly diverse range of communities and situations enjoy a University of Bradford education, and I am delighted that we will be helping even more students during the next year.”

A range of scholarships have been given this year to ensure that a Bradford education is open to anyone, regardless of financial situation or background.

The pledged £200K covers the following areas:

  • Investing in Excellence and Community Scholarships in the fields of:
    • Sport
    • Arts
    • Volunteering, enterprise and environment
    • Countries in Crisis scholarships
    • Academic Excellence scholarships

The University has also run its first alumni fundraising campaign, to create further funding to help existing and potential students.  Over £70K was raised and will be spent on scholarships, hardship funding and student facilities.  To find out more visit

Lilla Schumicky received a scholarship in 2009 to support her while she works towards a PhD in Peace Studies. She said: “I would like to work in the humanitarian field. My particular area is child soldiers. If I hadn’t been given the scholarship, I wouldn’t be able to be here. Since I was working mainly as a volunteer I had not financial backing. It’s great that there are people who appreciate community work. Being in Bradford was my dream for a long time.”

Waqar Chowdary, from Manchester, has received a scholarship to help him study for a BA in Politics and Law. He said: “I’m funding my own studies and this takes a lot of the strain off. I’m delighted, really happy. I feel really thankful.”

Case Study

Iqbal Hussain, 30, a postgraduate student studying an MSc in Forensic Archaeology and CSI, has benefited from the Countries in Crisis scholarship. He says that his scholarship has changed his life.

He came to study at the University in 2009 from his home in Swat Valley, Pakistan.  He left behind him a country that was difficult to live in and one he barely recognised.

“My home town was once a flourishing tourist destination, but since the Taliban established itself there in 2007 it has become unrecognisable.  My country is now experiencing its worst refugee crisis since partition from India in 1947 and the result is that three million refugees have fled without money or belongings.  Many people are living in tented camps and depend on host families and international aid donations.”

Iqbal’s family lost everything they own when they fled their home and now live in a camp, relying on aid agencies for food.  His scholarship from the Countries in Crisis fund has made all the difference to him and without it would have meant he could not have attended a University.

He said: “I am so grateful to the University for my scholarship.  It has transformed my life.  I believe that knowledge is power and I wish to advance my knowledge in forensic science so that I can benefit other people.

“I love my course here at Bradford and everyone has been so supportive.  I feel like Bradford has become my home and I’m honoured to be here.”

The University of Bradford is highlighting the importance of scholarships as part of Universities Week, a national campaign being run by over 100 higher education institutions to show the impact universities have on the economy, culture and society. For more information about Universities Week visit the University's microsite or to learn more about the national campaign visit

15 June 10

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Further information for Media Enquirers

For further information please contact the University of Bradford Press Office on 01274 23 3089/3084.

Out of office hours call 07879 437996. Alternatively, e-mail or fax on (01274) 236280.