The University of Sheffield is to offer £2.2 million worth of postgraduate scholarships in one of the biggest schemes in the country.
The scheme will see the university give 220 scholarships, each worth £10,000, to postgraduates from under-represented student groups this year.
Funding has been awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England which is allocating £50m to provide scholarships for postgraduate students across the country.
The scholarships being offered in Sheffield are the fifth highest number in England.
The scheme builds on findings from a pilot scheme, involving six universities including Sheffield, which found finance was a key barrier to progression for the most under-represented student groups.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Keith Burnett, who was part of the UK Government’s 2010 review into postgraduate education, which recommended increased funding in this area, said: “Ensuring that talented students from all backgrounds have access to postgraduate education is not only life-changing for those individuals, it is vitally important for the UK.
“Postgraduate study is often the gateway to professions such as medicine, teaching and law.
“It would be a very poor society which had people in such key positions of care and influence from only one background – we need to ensure that our country benefits from ability right across the board, and that means we need to help overcome barriers of funding.
“The University of Sheffield was founded by people determined to ensure access to the highest quality education by those with the talent to take advantage of it, regardless of background, and I am very proud that the same spirit is still thriving here today.”
The scholarships will be aimed at under-represented student groups, including those from deprived area, students from a black and minority ethnic background and those who are carers.