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Enhanced bursary scheme launched

  • 22 June 2021

An enhanced bursary scheme will enable more students to enjoy the benefits of a Gonville & Caius College and University of Cambridge education, regardless of their personal financial circumstances.

The University expects 25% to 30% of students to be eligible for bursaries of up to £3,500 per year from October 2021 – an increase of up to 10% of students – after raising the household income threshold. An additional award of £1000 per year will be made to all students of low-income backgrounds who qualified for free school meals, contributing to a bursary of £4,500 in each year of their undergraduate studies.

The bursaries, paid for by philanthropic donations to Caius and the University, are grants which do not need to be repaid.

Caius distributed 112 Cambridge Bursaries in 2020-21 to a value of £335,000. Donors to the Caius Fund, the College’s annual fund, provided funding for six undergraduate bursaries, and 29 existing named funds contributed to supporting the College’s undergraduate bursary provision in 2020-21.

Caius Senior Tutor, Dr Andrew Spencer, said: “We’re delighted that under the enhanced bursary scheme more students than ever before will get money to help support their studies and facilitate wider engagement with all the opportunities Cambridge offers. This is a key part of ensuring that students at Cambridge have the support necessary to help them succeed and thrive at Caius. The College and the University have worked hard together to make these enhanced bursaries available to a wider range of students.”

Over the next 10 years, more than £100 million will be awarded to students, across all the Colleges, thanks to the generosity of philanthropic donations from alumni and friends of the collegiate University. The Harding Challenge, established by David and Claudia Harding as part of their £100 million gift to Cambridge and St Catharine’s College in February 2019, was designed to underpin this expansion in bursary provision by matching philanthropic donations from alumni.

The threshold for eligibility will rise from the current maximum household income of £42,620 to £62,215, with the bursary tapered based on income and without any application needed. For example, all undergraduates from households with assessed incomes below £25,000 will receive the full amount; those at the top end will receive £100.

University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, said: “This new enhanced bursary scheme, which wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of donors, will help to ease some of our students' financial worries. The scheme’s launch means far more students will be eligible for support. This is particularly relevant now, at a time when many families’ incomes have been affected adversely by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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