Opportunity of access to Law, Engineering, and Business
The Multicultural Scholars Programme (MSP) was started by a philanthropist who wanted to address the problem of diversity in the legal sector by increasing the number of Law graduates with origins in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Africa and the Caribbean. Its success led to MSP being offered to students of Warwick Business School in 2012 and will include students from the School of Engineering from 2015.
The first thing to keep in mind about MSP scholars is that they are clever, very clever. They have achieved a place on merit and without the benefit of an elite education. Indeed, most have attended very poorly performing schools and all come from under-privileged backgrounds.
What the MSP programme recognises is that often, being very clever is not enough. Often, very clever young people from underprivileged backgrounds will fail at university because of the more alien and alienating culture.
They don’t have the same social and professional contacts and, they just don’t fit in. Loneliness and the acute sense of being different stops these young people achieving their potential and a high percentage of people falling into this category do not complete their university studies at all.
The MSP attempts to counter this sense of alienation by proving a supportive community. Older scholars mentor younger scholars and friendships develop which continue after graduation. We have lunches, meetings and cultural trips to both educate and to cement a sense of community and support. Scholars also have enhanced pastoral care and have access to personal tutors whenever needed. The MSP provides scholars with access to professional opportunities both in top law firms and at the Bar.
This is a cohort of students that in other law schools have one of the lowest rates of retention. In Warwick Law School the MSP scholars get better final degree results than the student cohort as a whole and they gain more training contracts. This year eight out of our ten graduating finalists have training contracts with magic circle firms.
The MSP is the only scheme of its kind in the UK and it is very hardworking thanks to the commitment of Warwick and the scholars themselves. It is totally dependent on the generosity of its sponsors and so we extend out wholehearted thanks to you.”
It is totally dependent on the generosity of its sponsors and so we extend out wholehearted thanks to you.
Dr Lorraine Talbot
Associate Professor of Law
MSP targets UK-based students from the least represented ethnic minority backgrounds entering Higher Education. Its founding vision was to help these scholars achieve their academic potential, and enable them to influence society as role models in both their own communities and in the board room.
The MSP distinctiveness lies in its holistic approach to supporting students and engendering a sense of community and cohesion amongst them. Students from low-income Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black African and Afro-Caribbean backgrounds are supported with a grant of £2,000 per year for the duration of their degree, and provided with dedicated pastoral and career support (including access to mentoring and work experience at City firms).
Students also have the opportunity to apply for financial support to fund overseas work placements and activities that expand their personal and professional horizons.
- Financial assistance of £2,000 per year, for each year of their course (find out more on the Student Funding website)
- Extra support and advice from a dedicated personal tutor and careers adviser
- Mentoring within the University and from Warwick graduates
- Company visits to supporting organisations in the UK
- Opportunities for career development and other special events organised by the university to further enhance the Warwick experience
"One of the things I love about Warwick is its diversity. No matter where I am in the world, I know that I am never far away from someone in the Warwick family!
I cannot begin to describe how invaluable the MSP scholarship has been to me over the years. The programme has offered me a talent-rich support network and opportunities at some of the largest law firms in the country. Visiting Magic Circle firms and having the chance to speak with Partners from similar backgrounds to me has been life changing.
I am truly grateful to have been part of the MSP family throughout my academic years at Warwick, and I know that it will continue to benefit me as I begin my career."
"From my very first week at the University of Warwick, the MSP has acted as a support system in all aspects of my university experience; whether academic, social or financial. It has created a network of like-minded individuals who both inspire and motivate one another to achieve success.
I am so grateful to have been a part of it, and I now feel that I have the insight and the confidence to pursue opportunities I otherwise wouldn’t have. The financial support provided by the MSP enabled me to gain varied work experience in investment banks and professional services firms across the country and I now feel equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to enjoy a successful career."
"There has been much in the news recently about the impending shortage of engineers within the UK and the need to significantly increase graduate numbers. One of the contributing factors to the existing problem is the under-representation of certain groups within the engineering community - the MSP funding at Warwick is one of our efforts to try and redress this imbalance.
The MSP provides for individually tailored programmes designed to give students the best possible foundation for solving future challenges for society through engineering innovation."
Professor Tony Price, Director of Student Experience, School of Engineering