Stormzy and Cambridge University announce 30 more scholarships for black students

A further 30 black students starting at Cambridge University will have their tuition and living costs covered thanks to a scholarship scheme started by the rapper Stormzy. Read more: Stormzy and Cambridge University announce 30 more scholarships for black students

Stormzy and Cambridge University announce 30 more scholarships for black students

A further 30 black students starting at Cambridge University will have their tuition and living costs covered thanks to a scholarship scheme started by the rapper Stormzy.

The £20,000-a-year scholarships will fund ten new students each year for the next three years, supporting them for the duration of their degree courses.

The award-winning UK grime artist began providing scholarships at the university in 2018 in a bid to address the relatively low number of black students who attend Oxbridge institutions. He called the expansion of the programme “an incredible milestone”.

A new partnership between HSBC UK and the #Merky Foundation, the charity founded by the artist, will ensure that a further 30 “Stormzy scholars” are funded over the next three years. In 2017, the university admitted 58 black British students to undergraduate degree courses. In 2020, this rose to 137, a 50 per cent increase on the previous year that was attributed to the “Stormzy effect”.

Stormzy said: “I hope this scholarship continues to serve as a small reminder to young black students that the opportunity to study at one of the best universities in the world is theirs for the taking.”

The first two Stormzy scholars graduated this year with a high 2:1 and a 2:1. Professor Graham Virgo, senior pro-vice-chancellor, said: “We’re confident that they are starting out on an exciting journey which may not have been possible without the generous support of philanthropists like Stormzy.”

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must have a confirmed place to start at Cambridge in October and be a British student of black or mixed-race heritage.

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Stormzy and Cambridge University announce 30 more scholarships for black students

Source : Business Matters More   

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Budget delay on cards as Rishi Sunak fails to name day

Speculation that the chancellor will delay his budget until next year is mounting after he instructed the spending watchdog to publish new forecasts without announcing an accompanying fiscal event. Read more: Budget delay on cards as Rishi Sunak fails to name day

Budget delay on cards as Rishi Sunak fails to name day

Speculation that the chancellor will delay his budget until next year is mounting after he instructed the spending watchdog to publish new forecasts without announcing an accompanying fiscal event.

In a letter to the Treasury select committee, Rishi Sunak said he had asked the Office for Budget Responsibility to prepare an economic and fiscal forecast to be presented to parliament on October 27.

The OBR’s document usually accompanies a budget or spending review but in a break from normal protocol, Sunak did not announce either. The OBR is legally required to publish two forecasts a year that can simply be released to parliament.

Andrew Goodwin, UK economist at Oxford Economics, said: “It is unusual for the date to be announced like this. Given the unusual choreography, it could well mean the budget will be delayed. Or perhaps the Treasury is deferring a decision until closer to the time.”

A three-year spending review is planned for the autumn, for which a new OBR forecast is required. Each Whitehall department has been instructed to find savings of 5 per cent but the formal launch of the process has been delayed until after the parliamentary recess.

Since changes made in 2017, annual budgets are meant to be in November or December to give business time to implement tax rules before the new financial year begins the following April. However, in 2019 the budget was delayed until the following March because of the December general election. In 2020, the autumn budget was pushed back to March 2021 because of the pandemic.

Sunak is considering delaying the budget until the spring once again, when the underlying state of the economy should be clearer, as The Guardian reported this month. The end of furlough in September, the withdrawal of tax breaks and volatile inflation are expected to make the autumn a particularly difficult time to produce reliable forecasts.

The budget is when tax changes are announced and Sunak will announce his fiscal rules. He has said he wants to put the public finances on a more sustainable footing, by paying for all day-to-day spending out of receipts and getting debt falling as a share of GDP.

The public finances have proved stronger than expected thanks to the pace of the recovery but higher interest rates have increased debt servicing costs since the OBR’s last outlook.

Goodwin said: “They [ministers] need to give the OBR sufficient notice, so they may have ensured they can go ahead if they decide they are ready. And if they decide they are not ready, they can still ensure the OBR fulfils its obligation to publish two forecasts per year.”

Treasury sources said that no decision on the budget date has been made.

Read more:
Budget delay on cards as Rishi Sunak fails to name day

Source : Business Matters More   

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