Posse Foundation scholars

The University of Cambridge has become the first higher education institution outside of the USA to partner with the Posse Foundation, offering graduate studentships to young people from under-represented backgrounds.  

This partnership has the potential to transform lives

Prof Bhaskar Vira

Initially offering one fully-funded studentship (fees and maintenance) for a Posse student accepted into a full-time MPhil programme in the Department of Geography within the School of the Physical Sciences, it is hoped that the affiliation will expand to offer more studentships in other departments.

Professor Nigel Peake, Head of the School of the Physical Sciences at the University of Cambridge: “We are excited about welcoming Posse alumni to Cambridge and proud to be Posse’s first international partner. This is a significant addition to our efforts to widen access and participation at Cambridge to ensure we continue to attract and nurture the brightest talent.”

Established more than 30 years ago, the Posse Foundation partners with 64 US colleges and universities each year, which together have awarded US$1.7 billion (about £1.3 billion) in scholarships to more than 10,000 students since 1989. In 2010, Posse was one of only 10 organisations that then-President Barack Obama chose to recognise with a portion of his US$1.4 million Nobel Prize award.

Although the overwhelming majority of Posse alumni come from low-income backgrounds and are under-represented minorities, the Foundation does not screen for race or need. Instead, Posse scholars are selected for their academic promise and outstanding leadership potential.

Deborah Bial, President and Founder, the Posse Foundation said: “We are thrilled to partner with the School of the Physical Sciences, our first overseas affiliation. The need for visionary leaders in the environmental sciences has never been greater. The department of Geography at Cambridge, among the best in the world, produces scientists of the highest calibre, and this affiliation will help to ensure that Posse Scholars are among them. We look forward to working with Professors Peake and Vira and the entire team at Cambridge on this exciting new endeavour.”

Professor Bhaskar Vira, Head of the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge said: “This partnership has the potential to transform lives. Posse awards are made on the basis of merit. Through this affiliation, the Department will admit talented students who will both benefit from and contribute to Cambridge’s vibrant community. We’re looking forward to meeting the first Cambridge Posse Scholar.”

Photo courtesy of the Posse Foundation

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