To celebrate Black History Month, 41 students will start their first year of study at six universities across England, having been awarded a bursary by Deloitte. Together with the firm’s charity partner Blueprint for All, the new bursary scheme is designed for students of Black, Asian, and minority ethnic heritage and from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, to support their ambitions to carve out a successful future.
Each student is awarded £2,250 per year for three years of study as part of Deloitte’s 5 Million Futures programme at Birmingham City University, University of Greenwich, University of Kent, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Portsmouth and University of Hertfordshire. The aim of the bursaries is to help students progress to careers in professional roles, including at Deloitte.
Deloitte recognises that success requires more than just a financial contribution and has therefore built a three-year programme around the students. The programme includes regular support from a Deloitte buddy, regular contact with senior Deloitte sponsors, invitations to participate in paid-for opportunities at Deloitte’s Spring into Deloitte and Summer Vacation Scheme as well as the opportunity to participate in an upskilling session on the Deloitte assessment process.
Jackie Henry, managing partner, people and purpose at Deloitte, commented: “We believe that everyone, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, or background, should have equal opportunities to thrive. It is a pleasure to invest in future talent and this bursary programme is specifically inspired by our Black Action Plan and our commitment to more inclusive recruitment. I look forward to following the journeys of these talented individuals through university and beyond and wish them every success as they study for their degrees.”
Tia Whitehouse has just started studying for a degree in counterterrorism, intelligence and cybercrime at the University of Portsmouth and is a beneficiary of a Deloitte bursary. Tia said: “Receiving the bursary has significantly helped reduce the stress of the financial burden I would have likely incurred throughout the duration of my undergraduate studies. Despite having a government-funded student loan, the reality of paying for basic needs, living costs and rent is a real struggle.
“Thanks to Deloitte, I know I don’t have to worry as much which has ultimately enabled me to direct my full attention and time onto my degree and extracurricular activities.”
Deloitte partner, Sandeep Gill, is the sponsor for the cohort of students studying at the University of Greenwich. He added: “I have seen first-hand in our business the positive impact that mentors and role models have on young people. Aspirations are often limited by your horizons and you can’t be what you can’t see, which is why our Deloitte buddies and mentors will be carefully matched to each student to offer personal insight, networking opportunities and assist them to focus on their course work and future career options.”
Sonia also said, “Together we are already making strides towards creating a more inclusive society and this bursary programme is providing enablement to the students which carves the way for them to success through higher education.”