Enabling Students-Beyond Divisions

Imagine a world where obstacles to higher education are removed. You can help to make this happen.


The Rising Cost

The solutions to some of our biggest and most profound challenges rest in the hands of scholars from all backgrounds, from all parts of the world. Yet not everyone has the same opportunities to further their education.

Promising students from low income backgrounds can often find the cost of higher education too much to bear. For those that do enter higher education, financial worries can impact heavily on their mental health and result in them leaving their studies early. They need help to be able to fully realise their potential.

In other parts of the world, promising scholars may be confronted by a range of obstacles to accessing a higher education, such as political turbulence and unstable economies. They need global support to ensure that they have a platform to develop essential skills, and prevent the loss of intellectual capacity in developing regions and countries experiencing unrest.

As part of Reading's Enabling Students programme, IMAGINE aims to bridge the divide and ensure that scholars from all backgrounds are given equal opportunities to develop and flourish. With your support, we can go beyond barriers and beyond borders to ensure that the brightest talent emerges, regardless of their background. You can ensure that we continue to nurture the pioneers of the future.

Shaping the Future

A bursary can alter the lives of a person from a disadvantaged background and those of their family. Higher education can open doors, enabling students to learn skills that will help them in their careers and have a positive impact on their local communities. Donors like you enable students to make the most of their time at university.

We want to give all students the opportunity to go beyond barriers and beyond borders.

Beyond barriers

Financial support that is available to an undergraduate from the UK government reduces beyond a household income of £25,000. This means that families within the £25,001 - £26,000 income bracket immediately face rising financial pressures when supporting their children at university. Donors fund the Pioneer Bursary, which gives £1,000 to every first year undergraduate with a household income of £25,001 to £26,000. In addition to this, our donors support a hardship fund for any student in short term financial need; providing support for essential items such as new laptops or a week's food.

Beyond borders

Reading is a global university that is driven by the quality of its research. It aims to help build stronger and more resilient economies; to enhance social and individual wellbeing; and to influence policy and practice in the UK and internationally. We therefore believe we have a responsibility to support scholars from across the world who want to develop skills that can be applied to helping their communities, yet are facing extreme challenges to obtaining qualifications that will enable them to achieve this. Donors are supporting refugee scholars from countries in crisis to come to Reading and learn skills in agriculture, climate science, applied economics and many more, so that one day they can return home and help rebuild communities devastated by war, famine and conflict.

This year our focus will be on our partnership with the Council for At-Risk Academics(Cara), a charity that provides support to vulnerable scholars across the world who are being persecuted or fleeing conflict. The loss of intellectual capital in places of instability such as Syria and Iraq can be devastating, and it is vital that the most intelligent people in these countries are given the platform and support to continue to develop skills that can be used to help rebuild torn communities when they return home. Reading has welcomed scholars identified by Cara who have fled the Middle-East crisis, and they are now pursuing postgraduate studies in the School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy. However, we want to be able to welcome more.

Reading is also partnering with Cara on its Syria Programme, which is combining an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) skills programme with a series of workshops that help Syrian refugee scholars in Turkish displacement camps transition to life in English speaking institutions. With IMAGINE funding, the International Study and Language Institute (ISLI) has contributed to leading workshops in Turkey, provided needs analyses and assessments to determine the language skills of the scholars, and are co-ordinating a group of teachers delivering an online EAP skills course. With further support, ISLI can continue to help develop the EAP and workshop programme.

Funding need

Your donations, no matter what size, make a difference to University of Reading students:


Your support will:


Imagine the possibilities. Together we can make it happen.

Key project facts and stats

1 in 10 students can't afford to complete their degree.


£1,000 allows a student from a low income background an equal opportunity to thrive at Reading.


£500 will buy a laptop for a student in need of financial support.

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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

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