STUDENTS from poorer backgrounds will get a helping hand into university.
A special scholarship fund is being set up by Kirklees Council in conjunction with the University of Huddersfield in order to help local prospective students.
The council is providing £75,000 of funding for the scheme which will be matched by the university in order to provide students meeting the criteria with a scholarship ofŠ £3,000 in their first year.
That will reduce their tuition fee to £4,950.
The scholarships will be available for local applicants fromŠ low income families to help them maximise their talents.
It is hoped that the scheme will provide help to around 50 full-time students.
Clr Mehboob Khan, leader of Kirklees Council, said: “We want to create ladders of opportunity for our residents to succeed.Š This scholarship will help foster ambition and unlock potential.Š
“It will increase the proportion of residents attaining higher level skills, increase their overall lifetime wage earning potential, lead to lower levels of employment and poverty.
“Most importantly, it will raise the aspirations of other residents from similar backgrounds to enter higher education.”
Prof Bob Cryan, vice-chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, said: “I am delighted that Kirklees Council has decided to support local residents in this way.
“As someone who was raised in Huddersfield and chose to study here at my home university I can vouch for the life-changing impact of higher education and the excellence of the Huddersfield experience.”
The local scholarship will be available to Kirklees people applying to study at the University of Huddersfield who meet the priority requirements of the National Scholarship Programme which are:
Household incomes of less than £21,000.
320 UCAS points (from any set of qualifications).
Entrants to foundation programmes in science and engineering from households with incomes of less than £21,000.Š
In addition to this, priority will also be given to applications from Kirklees residents who demonstrate they are from a group that is under-represented at university, such as:
Individuals living in the most deprived communities.
People who are homeless or who have been homeless in the past.
Looked-after children or care leavers.
People from households where no-one has entered university before.
Because of the nature of the government loan scheme, it is anticipated that the financial benefit to the students will be much greater than the £3,000 as it will significantly lessen the amount to be paid back over the lifetime of the loan.
The National Scholarship Programme announced by the government will provide students from disadvantaged backgrounds help with the cost of attending higher education from autumn 2012.