Univ Beacon Programme

In October 2021 Univ announced the launch of the Univ Beacon Programme, a major new initiative to drive participation and inclusion in education and research. It comprises ten new undergraduate bursaries, two new graduate studentships, and a postdoctoral research fellowship, all targeted at students and researchers who come from backgrounds and communities which are priorities for widening access at the University of Oxford. These include British students with Black African, Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi or Pakistani heritage, members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, care-experienced students, asylum-seekers, and refugees.

The Univ Beacon Programme unlocks opportunities for role models and leaders of the future, sends a powerful signal to the higher education sector, and drives the pace of much-needed change.

Valerie AmosBaroness Valerie Amos, Master of University College, said, “The Univ Beacon Programme will drive inclusion and challenge under-representation in higher education in the UK. Univ has a long history of innovation in widening access, and this new programme builds on strong foundations. Beacon will have a hugely positive impact on the College, and widen the pipeline to academia and to the professions.”

The Beacon Programme builds on the success of the Univ Opportunity Programme, launched in 2016 and now adopted university-wide as Opportunity Oxford, which promotes the success of talented students of all backgrounds who have experienced marked educational or socio-economic disadvantage. The Univ Beacon Programme forms part of the wide-ranging programme of work led by the College’s newly-established Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Undergraduate Beacon Bursaries

Graduate Beacon Studentships

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Danny Dorling“This is a brilliant innovation by University College. There remains so much progress still to achieve, and the Univ Beacon Programme will help to drive other changes that we need as a society. It will also make such a big difference to the lives of the students and researchers it supports.”
Danny Dorling, Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford
Author of The Equality Effect: Improving Life for Everyone


“It is wonderful to see Univ take this bold and inclusive step in diversifying its undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral community. We know a good education is one of society’s great levellers and one of the most effective tools for social mobility. The Beacon Programme will help change the lives of gifted students and researchers from under-represented communities by providing them with both the financial support and the right mechanisms to help them fulfill their potential. I look forward to seeing the incredible alumni the programme will produce.”
June Sarpong OBE, Director of Creative Diversity BBC
Author of  Diversify



Photo credit: Laurie Lewis

“The Univ Beacon Programme is a huge step in the right direction and demonstrates the College’s ongoing and genuine commitment to access, particularly for Black British students who are underrepresented throughout higher education. This makes me very proud to be a Univ alumnus.”
Alexandra Wilson, Barrister, Campaigner, Author of In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System


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