Enabling Students

Enabling Students-Beyond Divisions

Your support helps us to invest in our student experience. Here's how you're making a difference.

With the support of donors, the Enabling Students programme is helping a diverse range of aspiring students here at Reading. Many talented and driven scholars sadly find their pathway blocked by financial obstacles, and without extra financial support they would be simply unable to complete their studies. The Enabling Students programme has been established to break down these barriers and, thanks to your support, we are reaching students in need of help.

From students from low-income families to people living in areas of conflict or crisis across the world, your support is having a real impact on increasing opportunities available to those facing financial barriers to further education. You are also helping students to realise their potential outside of the classroom by supporting extracurricular activities. Your support is helping Reading scholars to go beyond barriers and beyond borders.

Beyond Barriers

Alisha, BSc Human Geography

Alisha grew up in a low-income area of Wolverhampton, where she says that the future "does not always look bright." Alisha was awarded a Pioneer Bursary scheme, funded by donors like you, which enabled her to balance studying and provide support to her mother.

She says: "Growing up in a less financially stable background than some of my other friends has been hard. But it has meant that I just had to learn to work harder, as well as make the most of opportunities.

With the bursary, I will be able to purchase key books that my lecturers have recommended. In addition to this I will use the Pioneer Bursary to pay for train tickets to visit home and support my mother, who is currently in the process of recovering from a stroke and brain haemorrhage. She was quite dependent on me before coming to university and I'd like to continue to help her as much as I can alongside fulfilling my aspiration of achieving my degree."

Beyond Borders

Suzan, MSc Food Security and Development

We are delighted to update donors on Suzan Lupai, a Windle scholar from South Sudan who has spent the past year studying for a postgraduate degree at the University of Reading. In 2016 we were thrilled to report the happy news that Suzan had been given the green light to enrol onto an MSc programme in Food Security and Development. She had been determined to further her learning and development after resolutely gaining a degree back home amidst a deeply troubling backdrop of civil war and political turmoil, yet had repeatedly faced barriers to obtaining the funding that would enable her to continue with her postgraduate studies. The critical contribution of donors meant that Suzan was finally able to gain the place she had worked so hard for, and we can now announce the fantastic news that she has successfully completed her Master's programme.

Suzan has now returned home to continue with her career in food and agriculture, and this is where the real impact of donor support lies. South Sudan is a country where low harvests, soaring food prices and armed conflict have resulted in famine and terrible suffering. By supporting the growth of intellectual capacity in countries in crisis, you enable the development of better governance and practices that can transform economies and communities in a continuous cycle of devastation. Suzan is clear about her future and is already turning her attention to how she can use what she has learned to help communities blighted by severe food shortages.

"The Master's has really helped because I learned a lot and acquired new knowledge that I can apply in different contexts, so it will be easier for me when I start looking for jobs. I will apply what I learned here. The course has involved a lot of writing and the jobs I want are looking for strong analytical and writing skills, so this has been a good experience for me. I want to work with either a UN agency or an international organisation. The situation back home in South Sudan is worsening every day. It can only be solved through political will. Most of the activities to help there are being done by international organisations and agencies, so this is how I can help people."

Suzan's place at Reading would not have been possible without the help she received from donors, and she was quick to acknowledge the integral support that allowed her this opportunity.

"I am so grateful to donors who have enabled me to make my dream a reality. I have gained new knowledge and skills that I can now take forward to use and help others. Your support is the foundation of our learning. Without you, it would not have been possible to do this. I will always remember Reading.

Once I get a job I am not doing this for me, I am doing this for all of South Sudan. I can now tell people what I know, and they will learn through me and improve their lives. The impact of your donation doesn't end here in Reading, it will go all the way to South Sudan. This is the beauty of what you have done. Thank you."

There are many more students like Suzan who are desperate for the opportunity to learn vital new skills and develop careers that enable them to influence real change, and they need your support to enable them to come to Reading. Suzan's story shows that your contribution does make a difference. By donating today, you will help to develop more people capable of creating a better future for shattered communities across the world.

Thank you for your support.

Updated December 2017

impact story facts and stats

£25,000

Government support for students decreases beyond a household income of £25,000

Donors are enabling us to help aspiring refugee scholars from countries in crisis.

The Reading Internships scheme is improving students' employability prospects after graduating.

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W M Childs

Universities are living things: they feel, think and do. They are centres of intelligence; they are concerned with ideas; they have outposts upon the frontiers of knowledge; they sometimes do beautiful and remarkable things; they dream and imagine.

W M Childs

First Vice-Chancellor, 1926-29