Somerville College and the History Faculty of the University of Oxford are launching a new postgraduate scholarship for a UK BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) student with philanthropic support from Raj Tulsiani, the co-founder and chief executive of executive recruitment and diversity consultancy Green Park.
The Raj Tulsiani Scholarship, for a taught Masters in History, will begin in the academic year starting in October 2020. The award will be made on the basis of academic excellence.
Black and ethnic minority students are under-represented on taught postgraduate History degrees at UK universities, accounting for 9.3% of all students in the discipline, compared with 22% across all subjects.
Mr Tulsiani is one of the UK’s leading figures in executive search and workforce diversification, with over 20 years of experience in transforming leadership recruitment. He is the author of Diversity and Inclusion for Leaders: Making a Difference with the Diversity Headhunter.
Mr Tulsiani said: “It’s a pleasure to be involved in the creation of future leadership. Oxford has done this through education for many years and, for thirteen years, Green Park has been placing diverse senior talent in leadership positions across the public, private and third sectors. This year Green Park has placed a diverse leader on a board every 8 days. By 2025, I want to make that a diverse person on a board every single day.
“For that we need a strong and diverse leadership pipeline that will become the robust, inclusive and representative board of tomorrow.”
“Having the capability to support more diversity through this postgraduate scholarship, which will widen the gate for the brightest and the best BAME talent, is a step in the right direction and one that I’m very proud to have been able to take with Somerville.
“It may have been a long time since I lived above my family’s shop in West Croydon, but the lessons I learned growing up have impressed on me that while talent may be everywhere, opportunity is not. This scholarship is a part of my contribution to increasing opportunity.”
Professor John Watts, Chair of the Oxford History Faculty Board, said: “The History Faculty is so pleased to be able to join Mr Tulsiani in supporting this scholarship, and we hope that it will encourage more talented students from BAME backgrounds to apply to us. Ours is a broad Faculty, with a huge range of interests, and we want to be as equal and inclusive as we can be.”
Jan Royall, Baroness of Blaisdon, Principal of Somerville College, said: “I am delighted that Somerville will host the first Raj Tulsiani scholar.
“There are so many students seeking scholarships to do a one-year Master’s degree but it is exceptionally hard to get funding, especially in the humanities.
“I hope this scholarship will enrich our understanding of history and, in time, support the development of future black and ethnic minority academics.”
The scholarship was first announced by the Principal on Tuesday October 19th during a formal dinner celebrating the University’s BAME community.