Speaking at the Barbican centre for the launch of his autobiographical book, Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far on Penguin Random House’s #Merky Books, Stormzy has brought Oxford University into the media firing line.
During his promotional patter, the London MC stated that Oxford University rejected his initiative to fund two scholarships for talented black British students. The proposal was since taken up by the rival Cambridge University, meaning that this is the first anyone has known of Stormzy’s approach to Oxford.
“We tried Oxford but they didn’t want to get involved.”
In an immensely positive and philanthropic move, Stormzy has pledged to fund the undergraduate tuition fees for two students this year, as well as two more next year. He has also promised to provide all selected students with maintenance grants for four years.
Speaking on his reasons for starting the scholarship project, ‘Big Mike’ explained his determination to uncover some of the “genius and incredible minds” within the undervalued demographic of “badly behaved kids”.
Thus, the London artist wishes to provide the educational platform for disadvantaged young people to discover that their brilliant minds make them just as capable as anyone:
“If you’re academically brilliant, don’t think because you come from a certain community that studying at one of the highest education institutions in the world isn’t possible.”
It’s worth noting that Stormzy himself is an alumnus of the ill-disciplined yet intelligent students. Having obtained 6 A*s at GCSE, the MC was also booted out of Sixth Form for misbehaving. Given his subsequent success, it’s clear that no one understands this plight more than Stormzy.
Oxford University have since claimed that they would be happy to support any such project:
“We have not received or turned down any offer or proposal to fund undergraduate scholarships at Oxford. We have contacted Stormzy’s representatives today to clarify we would welcome the opportunity to work together on inspiring students from African-Caribbean heritage to study at Oxford.”
IMAGE BY BARBICAN.