Oxford University denies it turned down Stormzy's scholarship 'proposal'

A representative for Oxford University has denied the institution "turned down" the chance to launch Stormzy's higher education scholarship.

At an event to promote the launch of his autobiography on Wednesday night (07Nov18), the Shut Up rapper claimed he originally approached Oxford University for help to launch a scholarship for black British students but it was rejected. He announced the scheme with Cambridge University in August.

“We tried Oxford but they didn’t want to get involved,” Stormzy reportedly said at the Barbican Centre in London as the grime star launched his new book Rise Up: The #Merky Story So Far.

However, on Thursday, a university spokesperson denied the institution turned down a proposal from the Blinded by Your Grace hitmaker.

“We admire Stormzy’s commitment to inspire and support black students to succeed in higher education," a spokesperson said in a statement to WENN. "We have not received or turned down a proposal for student support from Stormzy and have been speaking to his team this morning to establish what happened."

Stormzy's representative has not responded to WENN's request for comment. However, according to a source, an approach was made to Oxford by the rapper, but the information did not reach the correct department.

Oxford University added on Twitter: "We have spoken with Stormzy's management and clarified we are keen to work with him further, whether this is through @OxfordACS or the University directly, on inspiring more young people to study at Oxford."

Both Oxford and Cambridge has been criticised for failing to admit many pupils from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds in recent years, with Cambridge failing to offer any places to black pupils from 2012 to 2016.

The Stormzy Scholarship will pay the tuition fees of two Cambridge University students, and provide a maintenance grant for up to four years of an undergraduate course starting this year, and two more in 2019.

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