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.

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 fully realise their potential.

In other parts of the world, scholars may be confronted by a range of obstacles to accessing a higher education, such as political instability and civil war. They need support to ensure that they can develop essential skills, and prevent the loss of intellectual capacity in developing regions and countries experiencing unrest.

Donors can bridge the divide and ensure that scholars from all backgrounds are given equal opportunities to develop and flourish. Your support can go beyond barriers and beyond borders to ensure that the brightest talent is given a platform to progress, regardless of their background.

You can ensure that we continue to nurture the pioneers of the future.

Shaping the Future

A bursary can significantly increase the opportunities available to students from low-income families. 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 enable students to focus on their studies and make the most of their time at university.

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

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 believe we have a responsibility to support scholars across the world who want to develop critical expertise and help communities lacking people with the ability to influence positive change. 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 is on our partnership with the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara), a charity that provides support to vulnerable academics 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 people with the capacity to influence change in these countries are given support that enables them to continue developing skills and acquiring knowledge that they can use to help rebuild institutions and frameworks when they return home. We want to welcome at-risk academics to Reading on research incubation visits and one-year sabbaticals, which will enable them to partner with Reading academics on joint research proposals, build key networks, preserve critical knowledge and continue with their own research projects in a safe environment.

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 academics in Turkish displacement camps transition to life in English speaking institutions. With donor support, 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.

Beyond barriers

Financial support that is available to Reading undergraduates reduces beyond a household income of £27,000. This means that families earning over £27,000 immediately face rising financial pressures when supporting their children at university. To provide a buffer for families coping with this pressure, donors fund the Pioneer Bursary, which gives £1,100 to every first year undergraduate with a household income of £27,001 to £28,000. 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.

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.


£1,100 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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