Five students at Paddington are the first recipients of a new bursary fund to enable them to attend university outside of London.
The five students will each receive a bursary of £3,000 next year to help them with the costs of living away from home and has enabled them to accept places at universities that may have been beyond their reach previously. All students were invited to apply for the bursary and selection was based on the merit of their applications.
The bursary fund, known as the Vita Bursary, has been made possible due to the generosity of two benefactors who wish to support economically disadvantaged students and enable them to attend a university of their choice.
Qamil Pajaziti will study Medicine at Cambridge University, the sixth student to attend here in recent years; Hanan Al-Ali will study Biological Sciences at Warwick University; Yussef Sanyang will study Bioengineering at Sheffield University; Jonald Rakipaj will study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sussex and Diana David will study Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Nottingham.
Qamil described the importance of the bursary to him “This bursary really is a lifeline for me. Going to university is expensive and I worried about how I could afford to do it, as did my parents. It has given them peace of mind”.
It helped to influence the students’ choices, explains Jonald: “I seriously considered whether I could go to my preferred university due to the cost of living away from home. This has allowed me to pursue my goals”.
Paddington Academy serves an area of high economic deprivation and 70% of students at the school are in receipt of Free-School Meals, one of the highest of any schools in the UK. Despite this, more than 85% of students go to university each year, and 32% will attend a Russell Group university this year against a national figure of 8%.
Peter Jones, Principal at Paddington Academy, said “We are so grateful to the two benefactors who have provided the funding to support our students. We make a promise to our parents that every child will have the opportunity to go to university, and we are grateful that the bursary will help to broaden the horizons of our students further and ensure that there are no barriers to their choices”.