Southwark Scholarship Scheme
Hear from current scholars
Our scholarship scheme has positively impacted many lives. We hope you'll be inspired hearing what some previous students have to say about being awarded the scholarship.
“I found out about Southwark Scholars by coincidence and luck. I came across the Southwark Scholarship website after searching for scholarships and bursaries I could apply to, because of my background. My school ran sessions talking about the financial side to university and I was really worried about the financial burden it would put on my family and the restraints I would have to put on myself.
“My family has faced a number of hardships and I really went through some of the darkest times during my GCSEs. To think that the Southwark Council is willing to look out for students who've gone through difficult circumstances, both academically and socially, by offering such a scholarship, just makes me thankful that people can understand the struggles of coming from a low-income background. Receiving this scholarship has changed my outlook on life positively.
“The scheme has given me a lot of confidence and less stress when it comes to taking on the many opportunities I have access to at Imperial, worrying less about the overwhelming debt from student loans and spending more time focusing on getting through my course and participating in student life. The Southwark Scholarship scheme has also given me a lot of confidence in working towards realising my hopes of setting up a hedge fund within the next couple years, to help assist schools, youth groups and social start-ups within Southwark and other similar boroughs in London. Having the support from councillors and people in positions of authority for setting up such a project has reinforced my perseverance to want to do more than just getting through life.”
Hilliam, 19, is in his first year studying BEng Joint Maths and Computer Science at Imperial College London
“At first I didn’t think I would be eligible as I had taken two years out of education but I thought I would give it a go anyway. It turned out to be no problem at all and it shows that it’s not a bad idea to go to uni a bit later. I was over the moon when I found out I’d been successful as it was a huge weight off my shoulders knowing that I would be getting help with the looming student debt. I would have still gone to uni but it would have been a struggle. I see it in my peers, there’s an anxiety about finishing uni, what comes next and how are they going to pay off this debt? It’s really sad.
“Receiving the scholarship was a confidence booster. Not to sound cheesy but it’s nice to know that someone else thinks that this is something I should be doing as they are willing to invest their time and money to help me. I’ve also met someone else who’s studying at the same place as me through the scheme; otherwise I would have come to uni not knowing anyone.
“If you’re thinking about applying just try! The process is very self-reflective anyway so you will be able to look at yourself and see what you need to improve on for the uni process.”
Lauren, 20, is in her first year studying BA History and Sociology at the University of Essex
"Once I discovered the Southwark Scholarship Scheme, I did everything possible to maximise my chances of success. This was a once-in-a-life opportunity that I couldn’t afford to miss.
The scholarship has allowed me to confidently study engineering at UCL, build a promising company, Motivez, and immerse myself in cutting-edge ‘Formula 1’-related projects.
With my tuition fees covered, I am able to primarily focus on my education and take up opportunities to develop myself and improve society. Always remember that 'it always seems impossible until it's done.'”
George - Studying Mechanical Engineering at University College London
"Applying for the scholarship has opened a gateway into university for me that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. It has changed my life and I have gained a lot of confidence from receiving it. I would strongly encourage others to apply for this amazing scheme."
Lou-Lou - Studying Aerospace Engineering at University of Leicester
"Getting the scholarship has boosted my confidence and I’m proud that Southwark has invested in me and my future. I don’t have any tuition fees and feel more motivated to do well. The scheme is amazing and can really change your life.
I thought the scheme was an amazing opportunity. When I applied for the scholarship, I didn’t think I’d get far with it but thought I’d just go for it and see what happens and I thought it was amazing. It’s boosted my confidence and I’m very proud that Southwark has invested in me and my future. It’s given me more motivation to do well.
When I was at school, I raised money for charity, and also used to look after my elderly neighbours. This voluntary work enabled me to qualify for the scholarship scheme.
The scheme is amazing and can really change your life, not having any tuition fees. The opportunity is there, you should go for it. I have so much more confidence and independence. It’s been an amazing experience. Go for it, invest in yourself and your education, you will always have it."
Sam - Physics student at Imperial College London
"I found out about the scheme as a Southwark Youth councillor. Cllr Dora Dixon Fyle told me about it. I applied because I knew I was capable. The opportunity was there so I thought why not. I had nothing to lose.
I would encourage others to apply – you’re capable. Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
I made a positive impact on my local community through the Southwark Youth Council and my ability to put forward the views of young people to the council. The key issues I was particularly concerned with were unemployment and youth crime. My proudest moment was the youth implement event in Walworth."
Joshua - Law student at Birkbeck, University of London
"I initially found the idea of going to university daunting, I knew I wanted to go but I did not know whether I would be able to. The government say that the cost of university should not deter people –but in reality it does. Especially when you are doing a course like me. I am doing medicine and I am going to be studying for 6 years - it would have been a horrible debt."
Leanne - Medicine student at St. Georges
"When I received the scholarship, a big burden had been lifted. It meant that I could focus more on my course and I didn't have to get a job at university, which is what my university advised. I would tell anybody who is thinking of applying to go for it! If you receive the scholarship work as hard as you can because I was very lucky to get this award!"
Marion - Psychology student at Leicester University
"I would say go for it! It doesn't matter if you think you won’t get it, there is nothing to lose and you can only gain from it. It will be a huge burden off your shoulders if you get the award. It may not feel like it now, but when you've completed your degree and finished university it will make a big difference to your life."
Ayesha - Medicine student at Imperial College London
Page last updated: 13 February 2019