Education For All

York was Founded on the principles of Justice and equality….

So it wasn’t surprising that, not long after the University opened its doors in 1963, students and staff joined together to set up the Overseas Student Trust Fund, making a York education accessible to young people around the world…

Fast forward over fifty years, and that ethos and determination to be a place of safety and opportunity for everyone continues – thanks to you, our alumni, our staff and our students who have supported Equal Access Scholarships in growing numbers this year.

Equal Access Scholarships were established in 2015 in response to the humanitarian crisis, welcoming two scholars in September 2016. The University expanded its commitment last year in the face of growing need, and this September three more scholars will arrive to begin their studies at York. The University provides full fee waivers and philanthropy covers living costs.

It is a cause that has touched the heart of our community with students, staff, alumni and friends making gifts to fund more scholarships. Donor numbers increased by over 500% this year.

Our students were so inspired by the cause that they voted Equal Access Scholarships should benefit from the now established ‘Class of’ campaign, where each year final year students get together to fundraise for a project that will have a lasting impact.

The Class of 2017 chose to fundraise for Equal Access Scholarships as their parting gift to students seeking asylum at York. Lottie Massey, who was one of the key students behind the campaign, explains why she was keen to get involved.

Almost at the end of my degree, I wanted to give something back to the community and institution which has provided me with so much. And what better way to do that than offer the same opportunity to someone else who otherwise would not be able to go to university?

I feel passionately about equal access to education, and so for me the absolute minimum was to raise the £10,600 required to fund an Equal Access Scholarship scholarship for a year. Raising £10,600 in two months isn’t an easy feat, but I was confident that, with the right exposure, most students would want to give all that they could.

And they did! To my surprise, I found many student groups highly responsive. We reached out via the University’s crowdfunding platform, and staff got behind us too which was great. The campaign reached out to you, the alumni community, and eventually allowed us to surpass our target. So a huge thanks for your help in getting us over the finish line!

As you can imagine, it was highly rewarding. Now three asylum seekers will receive scholarships to study at the University of York. With all that is going on in the world, being able to make such a tangible difference to someone’s life is truly gratifying. And not only the scholars, but the University and population as a whole, will benefit from these young people being able to ignite their passions and fulfil their potential.”