Oxford bursary scheme to support Welsh students named after Michael Sheen
An Oxford bursary scheme to support Welsh students from disadvantaged backgrounds has been named after Michael Sheen.
The Michael Sheen Bursary was developed by Jesus College in collaboration with the Welsh actor, who is financially backing the scheme.
The bursary is “based primarily on household income criteria”, and the college says it is an attempt to overcome the barrier of economic inequality faced by many Welsh students.
Applications for the new bursaries at the Oxford college, which has connections with Wales going back centuries, will open in the autumn term 2021.
Michael Sheen said: “Where you come from and the financial circumstances of your background should not be a barrier to those of talent and excellence receiving much needed support and development.
“Jesus College, Oxford has had a long and fruitful relationship to Wales since its founding in 1571 and it gives me great pleasure to use what resources I have to help young Welsh students of real potential get the opportunities for learning there that they deserve as much as anyone else.
“I hope that these bursaries not only make it possible for Welsh students to take advantage of the educational possibilities at Jesus but also help to encourage a sense of what is possible for young Welsh people generally.”
‘Gifted young people’
Dr Alexandra Lumbers, Academic Director, said: “Our access programmes are going a long way in encouraging and enabling academically gifted young people from Wales to come to the University, but disadvantaged students can face financial inequalities that create a barrier to embracing the full benefit that an Oxford education can offer.
“The Michael Sheen Bursary will provide a tremendous opportunity to support Welsh students at Jesus College, making their experience more equitable, and reassuring them that Oxford is for everyone, regardless of background.”
Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt FRS, Jesus College Principal, said: “We are proud of our strong historical connection with the people of Wales, and the huge progress that has been made both within Jesus College and the wider University to encourage and support Welsh students to apply to Oxford.
“The Michael Sheen Bursary will drive this work forward and demonstrates a continued commitment to providing access and equity for all.
“We are hugely grateful to Michael for this generous support, which will positively impact the lives and futures of some of our more disadvantaged Welsh students.”