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Tower Hamlets Council launches University Bursary Award to support students amid the cost-of-living crisis

Eligible young people in Tower Hamlets could receive £1,500 to support them through their undergraduate studies as a cost-of-living measure.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman launched the University Bursary Award at Queen Mary University on Monday 30 January to support Tower Hamlets students going into further education.

The Council will provide a total of £600k to support 400 Tower Hamlets students attending any university in the country, to help with living costs such as accommodation, books and resources.  

Announcing the award at Queen Mary University in Mile End, Mayor Rahman said: ‘We are a borough of contrasts, we have one of the richest parts of the world in Tower Hamlets but yet we have poverty, we have real deprivation. 

‘For me, and for many of us, the route out of that deprivation is through good jobs and opportunities, and it has to start off with a good education.’ 

The bursary is open to students from households whose annual income is below £25,0000, and who have been a resident of Tower Hamlets for three years unless they are a refugee on the Ukraine or Afghan scheme.

Professor Colin Bailey, President and Principal of Queen Mary University of London, said: ‘We are very pleased to support the launch of the Mayor’s Bursary Award and to continue the engagement with our local community, which has been at the heart of our University since its founding.’

‘Queen Mary’s is unique among Russell Group universities for its diversity and inclusivity: 92% of our students come from state schools, and 49% are the first from their family to go to university.’ 

Though the bursary scheme provides support to students studying at universities across the UK, many young people choose to stay in the borough for further education, with 45% of Queen Mary’s students coming from within a 15 kilometre radius of the Mile End campus.

The scheme is part of a wider £1.1 million investment by Tower Hamlets Council to support young people at a time when many families are struggling amid the cost of living crisis

It follows the launch of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) in November 2022, a £400 payment to support eligible students with their sixth-form studies. 

Applications for both schemes for the 2023/24 academic year will open in summer 2023. 

If you enjoyed this piece, read our article about Tower Hamlets becoming the first London borough to extend universal free school meals to secondary school students. 

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