Billionaires to fund 90 new bursaries

16 January 2015

The Cambridge Student – Website

The Reuben Foundation has pledged a donation over the next five years to help fund up to 90 new undergraduate bursaries within Cambridge University. The bursaries will be made available to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, with the Cambridge Bursary Scheme assisting in the funding by matching the Reuben Foundation’s donation.

Eloise Oakley, Murray Edwards Access Officer, spoke to The Cambridge Student regarding the news: “It is amazing to hear of the substantial donation from the Reuben Foundation to provide such critical financial scholarships to support so many disadvantaged future students.”
She continued: “It is particularly important that this support is available to disadvantaged students when they are studying at Cambridge when the day-to-day financial burdens of university life continue to deter so many from applying.”

“The work of colleges and CUSU both to encourage and support applicants from non-traditional backgrounds to apply to Cambridge is brilliant, but these scholarships will help provide the longer term support that these students need to excel. I hope in the future we hear of many more donations, and scholarship opportunities, and continue to support the great access work that is currently being undertaken.”

The Reuben Foundation was founded by David and Simon Reuben, two Indian-born brothers. As well as providing a scholarship programme for Cambridge University students since 2012, the foundation also assists in the funding of the BFI Reuben Library, part of BFI Southbank. The library is a major resource for the study of film and television within the UK as it currently possesses the world’s largest collection of written materials on the subject.

In 2013, the brothers were ranked second in Forbes magazine’s list of the UK’s wealthiest billionaires.

The Reuben brothers released a statement saying: “We are delighted to see the continued expansion of the Reuben Scholarship Programme, and look forward to a long partnership with Cambridge which will benefit many bright students over the coming years”.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz shared his excitement at the news: “I’m delighted the Reuben Foundation has enabled us to provide these bursaries, which will make a significant contribution towards the accommodation and subsistence costs of studying at Cambridge.”

“A Cambridge education is a transformational experience, and their generosity will help ensure that basic living costs do not prevent talented students from benefiting from it.”

CUSU Access Officer Helena Blair was more cautious. “The prospect of financial difficulties and debt forms one of the largest barriers to people considering higher education as an option. It’s not only about affording living costs – students should have the financial security to thrive equally within their education and access the many opportunities that Cambridge has to offer. Sufficient financial support from a variety of sources including the Cambridge Bursary Scheme is crucial to achieving this, particularly in the case of students from lower-income backgrounds.”