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News New bursaries to promote lifelong learning in Staffordshire

Staffordshire University has announced a new bursary scheme supported by Kirsty and Ernesto Bertarelli.

I very much look forward to meeting the recipients of the Bertarelli Bursaries and to hearing their stories as they progress through their courses and work to achieve their hopes and dreams.

Kirsty Bertarelli, Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University has announced a new bursary scheme supported by Kirsty and Ernesto Bertarelli. The grants are specially designed to give students from non-traditional backgrounds the best chance of transforming their futures.

Launching this month, the Bertarelli Bursaries will initially be made to 33 students for the full three-year duration of their course. A further 33 bursaries will be awarded in 2020 and 2021 to support students throughout their degree studies.

The aim is to boost retention and progression of students who have completed the University’s Step Up to HE course. Eligible students also include those living within a 30 mile radius of the University’s campuses and who have successfully completed an Access to HE course at local colleges.

The bursaries help to build on the University’s existing partnership with the Bertarelli Foundation and YMCA North Staffordshire, which supports and inspires young people there in their journey into higher education.

Singer-songwriter Kirsty, who was raised in Staffordshire, was made an Honorary Doctor of Arts by Staffordshire University in 2016 in recognition of her philanthropic work in partnership with the YMCA in Hanley, as well as local theatre and creative arts, including the city’s Literary Festival.

Kirsty said: “It’s an honour to be working with Staffordshire University to deliver this bursary scheme and a great pleasure to be able to help students to unlock their huge potential and see just how far a degree can take them. I also hope that as the scheme develops, the bursaries encourage applications to the University from people who may have thought it financially impossible.

“I very much look forward to meeting the recipients of the Bertarelli Bursaries and to hearing their stories as they progress through their courses and work to achieve their hopes and dreams.”

Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes said: “We are extremely grateful to Kirsty and Ernesto for their generous offer of support through the new bursary scheme.

“Our partnership working has resulted in a number of young people at the YMCA signing up to the Step-up-to-HE programme and progressing onto a degree. The Step Up to HE course has helped hundreds of local students to build their confidence and achieve their academic potential.”

“However we still have a high number of local mature students who have to juggle academic study with work and family commitments and these bursaries could make a huge difference to them financially.”

Each bursary recipient will receive a cash sum of £1,500 a year, subject to their satisfactory progression through their course.



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