Oxford snubbed Stormzy's black scholarships

Stormzy poses on the red carpet at the BRIT Awards in February 2018 where he won the award for British Album of the Year

Stormzy poses on the red carpet at the BRIT Awards in February 2018 where he won the award for British Album of the Year

There were red faces among the dreaming spires of Oxford yesterday after it emerged that the university was offered first refusal on scholarships being offered by the grime artist Stormzy before Cambridge snapped them up.

Stormzy claims that Oxford University "didn't want to get involved" in his scholarship programmes for two black British students at his book launch on Thursday evening.

However, the claim made by Stormzy - who appeared at the event with fellow rapper and author Akala, poet Benjamin Zephaniah and author Malorie Blackman - has been refuted by Oxford University with the institution claiming they had "not received or turned down any offer" regarding the undergraduate scholarships.

The scholarship will pay for tuition fees and provide a maintenance grant for up to four years of an undergraduate course.

The Stormzy scholarships will go to four students over two years.

He said: 'That is something I take personal pride in. "Now I am in this position I want to do something for them". Cambridge University inevitably chose to accept Stormzy's bid, and so began the ensuing media sh*tstorm, especially after the rapper shared the news with the thousands in attendance.

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He unveiled the program in the summer to encourage the admission of more black students to top universities, after none got into some University of Cambridge colleges between 2012 and 2016.

David Lammy, the Tottenham Labour MP, said Oxford's apparent rejection suggested the institution was "getting too big for its boots".

'We admire Stormzy's commitment to inspire and support black students to succeed in higher education.

There has been no public response to Oxford's denial from Stormzy.

"We have contacted to Stormzy's representatives today to clarify we would welcome the opportunity to work together on inspiring students from African-Caribbean heritage to study at Oxford".

In an earlier statement, the Oxford SU Sabbatical Team said: "It comes as no surprise to us to hear the University turned this offer down (sic)".

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