Bursaries awarded to help Bedford students afford the spiralling costs of university

Harpur Trust has awarded bursaries totalling £57,600
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The Harpur Trust has awarded bursaries totalling £57,600 to help pupils from Bedford afford the cost of going to university.

Sixteen students received their University Bursaries before they started on their academic journey to courses across the UK, from Portsmouth to Glasgow.

The students are studying a wide range of subjects including paramedic science, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, theatre arts, the sciences, social work, history, politics, law, mathematics and finance and accounting.

The Harpur Trust has awarded bursaries totalling £57,600The Harpur Trust has awarded bursaries totalling £57,600
The Harpur Trust has awarded bursaries totalling £57,600

The scheme is open to those in year 13 studying in Bedford borough state schools: Bedford Academy, Bedford College, Biddenham International School and Sports College, Kempston Academy, Kimberley STEM College, Mark Rutherford, Sharnbrook Academy, The Bedford Sixth Form, St Thomas More Secondary & 6th Form and Wixams Academy.

The students are awarded £3,600 spread across three years and can use the money to help with study costs including accommodation, books, food, transport or course materials.

Grants manager, Nicola McKenzie, said: “Past students tell us the bursaries really help offset some of the spiralling costs of studying and enable them to concentrate on their courses, reducing anxiety and stress, leading to better mental health. Some students say without the bursaries to give them a helping hand, they wouldn’t have gone to university.

“Many bursary students have overcome significant personal challenges and we wish them the best of luck with their degrees. We look forward to hearing updates from them as they progress, particularly getting their input on our youth focus group to give us feedback on various initiatives we are running at the Harpur Trust over the next couple of years.

“We’re delighted to see some of our former bursary students giving back as ambassadors for the Trust and taking part in initiatives like Bedford Giving. One recent graduate has recently signed up to become a Bedford Giving Career Mentor to help guide young people at local secondary schools.”

The Harpur Trust programme has helped 240 students gain their degrees since 2007, with the Trust having awarded more than £0.8m in bursaries.

Bursaries applications for 2024 will open at the beginning of next year. Further information is available here.