£1m Essex Futures Appeal aims to unlock huge potential in next generation of innovators

  • Date

    Fri 24 Jun 22

Profile pictures of University of Essex Scholars

We need to make sure talented students with the potential to change the world get the support they need to overcome any financial barriers they face – that is where our £1m Essex Futures Appeal comes in.

As part of our commitment to investing in our students, we are proud to be launching the most ambitious scholarships appeal in our history and we are inviting our community to support the next generation.

Our Essex Futures appeal, launched at the University’s Annual Meeting, is seeking to provide scholarships and bursaries to inspirational students who are ready to tackle world challenges and shape our future, but simply can’t do it without additional financial support.

Data from our last academic year (2020-2021) shows that:

  • 44% of our UK undergraduate students are from households with an income of less than £25,000
  • 37% of our UK undergraduate students are the first in their family to go to University
  • Needing financial support is the second most common reason for international students declining or withdrawing their application

Education unlocks potential, but what is a straightforward path for some, is becoming out of reach for so many. With social inequalities and the rising cost of living stopping many from continuing, or even beginning, higher education, Essex is taking action to support talented students with enormous potential.

We know an Essex education has the potential to create the innovators, pioneers and trailblazers of the future; those with dreams of building disruptive businesses, innovating in healthcare, realising the potential of data, solving the climate crisis and taking on poverty in all its forms.

Thanks to the support of a scholarship, Dr Olatunde Banjo was able to complete his PhD in Computer Science in 2020 and was part of a team developing the first purpose built electric taxi and helping take us towards a Net Zero society.

Knowing how vital scholarships are in supporting student success, Olatunde said: “As a young dad with two young kids, my scholarship made all the difference. Without it, I would never have been able to embark on my PhD or the career I now have. My job is helping to shape not only the future of the transport industry but contributes to wider efforts to tackling climate change. As an alumnus, I take a great deal of pride in giving back to Essex and supporting the next generation of engineers.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “As we move on from the pandemic, a commitment to support every student from every background to achieve something special, remains at the very heart of our mission.

“Access to education should not just be for the elite, and your family’s financial status should not be the determining factor as to whether you can make it to university or not. While we are proud that Essex is a university for all, I cannot help but think of those trailblazers and changemakers that have not come to Essex because their dream of an education felt out of their reach.

“Essex Futures is our promise to support the next generation - and I am proud that thanks to the generosity of a small number of alumni and founding donors, we have already raised the substantial sum of £50,000 to kick start our appeal.”

More about Essex scholars

Our campuses are already home to nearly 1,500 scholars but there’s more we can do to break down barriers and help students fulfil their potential at Essex, and our appeal will raise vital funds to offer more scholarships to ambitious students.

“I come from a city in the Amazon. Without a scholarship, it would be impossible to study at Essex. I want to be a leading scholar in Brazilian criminology, focusing primarily on green harms and crimes to contribute to global efforts on the climate emergency.” Victor Porto Almeida, PhD Criminology.

“As an advocate and defender of women’s and girls’ safety and rights, my goal is to use data to fully understand the nature and magnitude of violence against women and girls and to help empower survivors. I want to use data to prevent such violence and enable more specific advocacy for policy change.” Mosebolatan Oyedeji, MSc Applied Data Science

“My scholarship has changed my life and fulfilled my dreams and ambitions. I have always loved studying genetics. My goal is to get into cancer research and help cure cancer.” Nerthiga Kandasamy, MSc Molecular Medicine

“After I graduate, my goal is to be called to the Bar. I want to be a lawyer that gives free legal services to those that need it but can’t afford it. I particularly want to continue to support the LGBTQ+ community in my legal work.” Eayan Subramaniam, LLB Law

To find out more and make a donation to Essex Futures :