“For the first time, the proportion of black students at Cambridge has risen above 3 per cent to 3.5 per cent, reflecting the general population (3.5 per cent of the English population is black), a change which some have attributed at least in part to the August 2018 announcement from Stormzy, the award-winning rapper, that he would fund tuition fees and living costs for two black students each year.
Following years of criticism of poor records on ethnic diversity at Oxford and Cambridge, the rapper should be applauded for his efforts. His scholarship, alongside his outreach work, has sent clear signals to young black students that Cambridge is a place where they, too, can thrive.
In addition to initiatives such as Stormzy’s, there should be more scrutiny on whether or not schools are adequately pushing their most ambitious students to the top. A Sutton Trust report published in December last year found that even when students in state schools were achieving the same grades as their private school counterparts, they were less likely to apply to Oxford or Cambridge.”