Oxford University has created a Michael Sheen Bursary for Welsh undergraduate students, with the generous support of the Newport-born Hollywood star.
A new bursary, generously supported by Welsh actor Michael Sheen, has been announced by Oxford University’s Jesus College. The bursary scheme will positively impact the lives and futures of undergraduate students at Oxford University from across Wales by providing much-needed financial support.
Recipients of the Michael Sheen Bursary will be means-tested, based primarily on household income criteria. Economic inequity is a known barrier to Welsh school students pursuing courses in leading universities, and a barrier that Jesus College, and Oxford University more broadly, is working hard to overcome.
“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,” explained Dr Alexandra Lumbers, Academic Director. “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.”
The Michael Sheen Bursary is an exciting, positive step forward for Jesus College, which already delivers a wide range of access and outreach activities for young people in Wales. The Oxford Cymru consortium in particular has been working closely with the Welsh Government to expand the University’s reach; “[t]he Michael Sheen Bursary will drive this work forward and demonstrates a continued commitment to providing access and equity for all,” said Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Jesus College Principal.
Applications for the first round of the Michael Sheen Bursary will open in Michaelmas term 2021.
“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,” said Sheen. “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.”
Other famous people who have had bursaries and scholarships named after them include actor Laurence Olivier, Beatle John Lennon, martial arts star Bruce Lee, Monty Python legend Michael Palin, chat show host David Letterman and musician will.i.am.
To find out more about Jesus College and the Michael Sheen Bursary, visit the college’s website here.