Widening participation in higher education

Shania is a first year Biomedical Sciences student and a recipient of the Cowrie Foundation Scholarship. The Scholarship enables Black British students from socio-economically challenged backgrounds to attend leading UK universities by providing financial support, as well as mentorship, role models, and resilience programmes. This is Shania’s story.

I always planned to continue into higher education and chose to study at Newcastle University because of the PARTNERS programme.

When I was applying to university, I hadn’t actually visited Newcastle at all. I just put it down as an option purely because of the course and the broad variety of modules available to study. But when I completed the summer school as part of the PARTNERS programme, I really liked the city and found everyone to be really welcoming.

I’m enjoying taking part in the extracurricular activities available, I play netball for ACS and for Bio Sci Society and I’m part of the First Aid Society too. I also tutor students in Maths, English and Science in my spare time and I'm starting training for St John Ambulance.


I feel very proud to be one of the first students to receive the Cowrie Foundation Scholarship at Newcastle University. It is an honour to represent Newcastle University with this scholarship and it gives me more determination to strive for the very best.

Shania, Cowrie Foundation Scholarship recipient
First year, Biomedical Sciences student

Receiving the Cowrie Foundation Scholarship means I don’t have to stress about money as much. It has helped with my living expenses, to purchase coursebooks, and also my netball kit. Without the scholarship, I would have been relying on my mum and my sister, because my mum is a single parent. I don’t have to worry about that aspect now, as the scholarship covers everything that I need.

If others are in a position to help students like myself, I would definitely encourage them to support in any way that they can because it really does make a difference to students. It allows them to stress about what they actually need to stress about during their studies, rather than the other stuff that can’t be helped.

When I graduate, I would like to study a master’s degree in Physician Associate Studies so that I can work in hospitals. In the meantime, I'm hoping to do an internship in a hospital during one of the summer breaks.


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