Arlan Hamilton is the founder of Backstage Capital. Photo by Sarah Deragon

Philanthropy Report 2019/20

Creating opportunities for Black British students


The University’s first dedicated scholarship for disadvantaged Black British students has recently been established.

Supported by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Arlan Hamilton, the Oxford–Arlan Hamilton and Earline Butler Sims Scholarship will fully cover the fees and living costs of one undergraduate student for the duration of their studies. The scholarship programme will support three scholars in total, beginning in 2020–21.

In addition, the scholarship will include a grant of £3,000 to enable each beneficiary to access internships in order to enhance their employability, as well as providing them with the opportunity to work with the Oxford Foundry, the University’s student entrepreneurship centre.

The exterior of the Oxford Foundry
  The Oxford Foundry's mission is to build a new generation of ventures that better society, and to nurture more ethical leaders who put people and planet first

The scholarship is open to UK undergraduates of Black African and Caribbean heritage from disadvantaged backgrounds, with the first scholarship holder having recently commenced their studies at Oxford.

Explaining her motivation for making the gift, Arlan Hamilton said: ‘I just really want someone who didn’t, or wouldn’t, have had the opportunity to go to this University, to do so. I want them to be truly nurtured and able to focus on themselves, instead of worrying about the things that perhaps I have had to worry about in the past – like how you are going to pay your rent, while trying to get an education. I want them to be able to focus on the things that fuel and give them life.'


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