Rapper AJ Tracey has announced the launch of a fund to help Black students thrive at Oxford University. The AJ Tracey Fund aims to address “historic underrepresentation” at Oxford, the top university in the UK. Working with St Peter’s College, Tracey, 28, hopes to attract students from underrepresented backgrounds and provide them with financial support and mentorship.
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“I want to show young people from my community that it is possible to achieve anything you set your mind to, regardless of your background or circumstances,” Tracey said.
The fund will cover the cost of tuition fees and living expenses for up to four students each year. It will also provide mentorship and guidance from Tracey and his team.
“I hope that by providing this support, we can help to create a more diverse and inclusive environment at Oxford University,” Tracey said.
The fund announcement comes as Oxford University faces mounting criticism over its lack of diversity. In October, a report found that Black students were significantly underrepresented at the university, accounting for just 2.4% of undergraduates in 2019-20.
The AJ Tracey Fund is one of several initiatives launched in recent months to increase diversity at Oxford University. Other initiatives include the launch of a new scholarship for Black British students and appointment of a task force to review the university’s admissions process.
“I hope my fund will inspire other people to take action and help create real change,” Tracey said.
In addition, the hashtag “#BlackAtOx” was trending on social media in the United Kingdom on October 28, 2020, with students and alumni of Oxford University sharing their experiences of racism at the institution.
In an interview with BBC Radio 1Xtra, Tracey said that he was “disappointed” by the reports of racism at Oxford University and wanted to use his platform to show young people from underrepresented backgrounds that “anything is possible”.
“It’s not just about getting into Oxford; it’s about excelling while you’re there,” Tracey said. “I want to provide that support for somebody, so they can go there and smash it.”
The AJ Tracey Fund is currently accepting applications from eligible students. For more information, please visit the St Peter’s College website.
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