From education to employment

Blackbullion launches new scholarships proposition to close gap on student funding and open up future talent pipelines

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  • Blackbullion launches new scholarship offer with £350,000 committed to close the gap on student funds crisis    
  • First ever National Scholarships Week highlights need to reimagine university funding helping business diversify talent pipeline and power inclusivity    

Financial wellbeing platform, Blackbullion, is launching a brand new scholarship proposition to close the gap on the student funds crisis and support businesses seeking to open their talent pipeline. The end-to-end service launches today with the UK’s first ever National Scholarships Week, running from 17th – 21st April and delivered in partnership with Wise, the global technology company building the best way to move and manage money around the world.

Through its new scholarships platform, Blackbullion will build on its existing funding hub to work with businesses to design, resource, and disburse bespoke scholarships programmes. The programme is set to transform the UK scholarship space, encouraging businesses to positively impact young people’s futures, mitigating the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the student experience while diversifying talent pipelines and helping businesses create social value.

The programme launches with £350,000 already committed across 63 scholarships, from employers including SSE, FTI Consulting, IVC Evidensia and the Chaucer Group, many choosing to support students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. It follows Blackbullion’s acquisition of The Scholarships Hub last year.

The launch follows Blackbullion’s Student Money & Wellbeing Report, which found that one in 10 (9%) of UK students surveyed has considered or has dropped out of university in the last 12 months as a direct result of the cost-of-living crisis. When asked, students said they need £548 extra a month to confidently feel they could complete their degree. Now in its third year, the report found the student financial deficit has increased by more than a third (39%) from 2022’s gap of £395. Almost 9 in 10 students (87%) worry about their finances – an increase from 75% in both 2022 and 2021.

Vivi Friedgut, CEO and founder of Blackbullion comments:

“I’ve always believed in the power of fintech for good. We know the cost-of-living crisis has impacted students’ lives irrevocably, from mental health through to their academic attainment; there’s a scale and urgency to this crisis which universities simply can’t tackle alone. It’s why we’re collaborating with truly future-focused businesses to create a sustainable scholarship offer that opens up funding and employment opportunities, while helping organisations develop a more diverse, inclusive pipeline.”

Vivi adds, “Through this programme, businesses have the opportunity to invest in the future of their workforces,  strengthen their employer brand, and create measurable social value over the long-term, in a cost efficient and meaningful way. We’re delighted to see initial success with our scholarship partners and look forward to generating more during this first National Scholarships Week.”

National Scholarships Week brings together stakeholders across universities and higher education with businesses looking to reimagine university funding while diversifying the talent pipeline. The week comprises a series of education-led events for employers and universities, with a focus on student finances, developing authentic DE&I strategies together with building inclusive recruitment and progression.

Wise also launches its new scholarships programme during National Scholarships with a fund of £9,000 for three new openings.

Libby Cook, Head of Early Careers at Wise, comments:

“By supporting STEM students in the UK to finish their technical degrees, we hope to inspire and support young people to consider a career in tech. We know that this work needs to come well before people are looking for their first job, which is why we have partnered with Blackbullion on this initiative to reach the next generation.”

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