New Foundation fundraising to support disadvantaged Black British university students

Richard Oreffo

A new foundation is aiming to raise £500,000 to provide scholarships for disadvantaged Black British students to attend leading UK universities. The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation (CSF) will help eligible students regardless of what subject they decided to study.

CSF also aims to provide more than just money and will offer mentorship, role models, and resilience programmes for the students who benefit from scholarships to make the most of the opportunity.

The new foundation is the brainchild of Professor Richard Oreffo who is a Professor of Musculoskeletal Science at University of Southampton and the co-founder and Director of the Centre for Human Development Stem Cells and Regeneration.

CSF’s mission is to fund 100 disadvantaged Black British students. The initial target is to raise £500,000 to start funding the first tranche of students and then continue to raise funds to finance scholarships through endowments.

Professor Oreffo said:

‘I am a British-Nigerian who benefitted from education at our leading universities and it has made a significant difference to my life, but I know not everyone is able to access education, and many potential talented Black British students can be held back by lack of money.

‘This has driven my desire to make a positive difference for the individuals the foundation will support and also to universities on the whole by increasing diversity and inclusion.

A positive agenda to level the field

‘We want this to be a long term initiative. The leading universities are trying to address many of the issues but of course so much more needs to be done.

‘I am keen this is a positive agenda to level the field for disadvantaged Black British students. We have a collective responsibility to make a positive difference for the society we want – this is about partnerships with leading universities covering tuition fees and businesses/all of us living costs, to allow education to transform lives!

‘The bottom line: we must do better – we can do better – we can make a difference. But we need help to raise the funds to do so and we need people to donate!’

For further information and critically, how to donate and support the Foundation including Businesses looking to make a difference, see and

Header photo: Professor Richard Oreffo © Cicely Oreffo, Cowrie Scholarship Foundation

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