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Open Letter for expanding the number of full scholarships for students from economically poor families in the UK

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    RDA Admin
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    Dear colleagues
    I came across this editorial article in Guardian  on social mobility in the UK  “The Guardian view on class in Britain: the government doesn’t want to talk about it”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/sep/14/the-guardian-view-… 
    Continuing complexity: The university careers of a scientific elite in relation to their class origins and schooling
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1468-4446.13046 
    British geography departments have “some of the narrowest and poshest social profiles” 
    https://news.sky.com/story/less-intelligent-posh-kids-are-taking-geograp
    Kindness: A new kind of rigour for British Geographers
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1755458619301252
    Are there any research publications on social mobility in the UK in different scientific disciplines.  If so, please share. Thanks.
    There is an urgent need to provide more number of  full scholarships (with maintenance grant) for  students from economically poor families and first-generation students (first in family to go to university). 
    Let us all work together so that we can ensure the right to quality education opportunities for the 4.2 million children currently living in poverty in the UK. This is important for the better future of our country and our future generations.
    I am grateful to everyone working for education opportunities for all.
    Best wishes
    Suchith
    From: Suchith Anand
    Sent: 16 August 2023 09:43
    Subject: Re: Open Letter for expanding the number of full scholarships for students from economically poor families in the UK
     
    Dear colleagues
    Thank you for sharing lot of excellent ideas. This is very helpful. I have been receiving lot of excellent ideas from many colleagues across the UK. 
    One suggestion I received is below and I need help to find more information on what was the education policies of the Labour government in 1945-1951 time? 
    “If we are to help resolve this important issue then a systemic approach is required. This may have to start earlier in the educational chain perhaps at the secondary school level where there are socio-economic barriers to poorer families trying to have children qualify for University entrance. The scholarships you propose will help but they must be complemented with support for the students to give them the best chance to succeed. The education policies of the Labour government just after the war had a huge impact and are worthy of further examination to see if there are any lessons for the current situation. If these changes had not been put in place I would never have been able to go to university.”
    Does anyone have more information on the education policies of the Labour government in 1945-1951 time? If so, please share the relevant links/information. Thanks.
    There are also a lot of excellent discussions happening in many academic mailing lists on this.
    For example, the idea of expanding universal free school meals . I request the UK government to urgently take steps to  make provision of Free School Meals to all students (till Year 13) in all UK schools.
    I request the UK Government to introduce a new wealth tax for all UK Billionaires to fund this. Even a 1 percent wealth tax on UK Billionaires wealth (£600bn) will generate 6 Billion pounds! This Billionaire wealth tax funding will help easily make possible  Free School Meals to  all students (till Year 13) in all UK schools.
    It is unfair that a few billionaires are able to accrue such a staggering amount of the nation’s wealth when more than 4.2 million children are living in poverty in the UK. I request the kind support of all UK Political parties, MPs and UK Government to help make possible Free School Meals to all students (till Year 13) in all UK schools.
    More details athttps://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/wa-jisc.exe?A2=OER-DISCUSS;b774caaa.2308
    I am also pleased to note that some UK University managements are proactively working for expanding scholarships for students from economically poor families. I want to thank colleagues and Management of University of Sheffield for their excellent Experience Sheffield Scholarship (ESS) program. University of Sheffield are offering over 200 Experience Sheffield Scholarships worth £3,600 each for home fee-paying students starting their studies in September 2023.Details at 
    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/undergraduate/fees-funding/experience-sheffield
    I am sure that more UK universities will expand their scholarship funding and initiatives in the near future. I request all colleagues working in all UK universities to work for expanding scholarships for students from economically poor families.
    I am grateful to everyone working for education opportunities for all.
    Best wishes
    Suchith
    From: Suchith Anand
    Sent: 14 August 2023 10:01
    Subject: Open Letter for expanding the number of full scholarships for students from economically poor families in the UK
     
    Dear colleagues,
    I have been working and championing over a decade to provide more full scholarships in UK universities for first-generation students (first in family to go to university) and for students from economically poor families in the UK. 
    There were 4.2 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2021-22. That’s 29 per cent of children (This percentage might be higher now due to cost of living crisis in the UK ). Details at.https://cpag.org.uk/child-poverty/child-poverty-facts-and-figures
    Extreme child poverty in the UK is a humanitarian and ethical crisis. In educational terms, poverty is a significant disadvantage. The link between poverty and poor educational outcomes and wellbeing in the UK has remained stubbornly and depressingly high despite longstanding policy concern at national, local and jurisdictional levels of government. 
    Child poverty, education and the postcode lottery
    https://www.transformingsociety.co.uk/2020/08/19/child-poverty-education
    I humbly request that the UK government to share a clear action plan for ensuring the right to  quality education opportunities for the 4.2 million children currently living in poverty in the UK. Access to quality education opportunities is a human right. There needs to be focused policies at the UK Government level about equitable education with a binding on Universities and the Higher Education Institutes to comply. 
    I came across this article published in the University World News on 22nd July 2023 which looks at the toxic corporate culture and a crisis of leadership in UK higher education.
    Details athttps://www.universityworldnews.com/post-mobile.php?story=20230721132953122
    I request the UK Government  to investigate the current state of affairs of the UK Higher Education sector with the aim to end corrupt practices and reform UK Higher Education. 
    Universities have a social responsibility. There is an urgent need to provide full scholarships (with maintenance grant) for 30 percent of seats in each Russell Group university (the richest and prestigious universities in the UK) for students from economically poor families and first-generation students (first in family to go to university). I request the kind support of all MPs, all major UK Political parties and UK Government for the Right to Quality Education opportunities for All .
    May I please request you to kindly support the“Right to Quality Education opportunities for All”  
    Details at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/open-letter-requesting-uk-government-refo…
    All Senior University Managers/Vice chancellors/ Pro Vice chancellors in all UK universities have a social responsibility.  There is an urgent need to provide more number of  full scholarships (with maintenance grant) for  students from economically poor families and first-generation students (first in family to go to university). 
    In the interest of good governance, I am requesting all UK university managements to kindly provide information on the following statistics summary information. Please share my email with your university management and request the following statistics information 
    – Summary statistics of the number of full scholarships (covering full fee waiver and maintenance grant) provided by the university to first-generation students and students from economically poor families in the last 3 years (2020, 2021 and 2022) and the plans for number of full scholarships for the next three years (2023, 2024 and 2025).  
    – Include statistics of the number of full scholarships per department provided by the university to first-generation students and students from economically poor families in the last 3 years (2020, 2021 and 2022) and the plans for number of full scholarships for the next three years (2023, 2024 and 2025).
    I humbly request that discussions and updates on scholarship programs are included in all department staff meetings and EDI meetings in all UK universities, so we all can keep monitoring and measuring progress. Please share my email with all colleagues in your departments and request all interested to share ideas for expanding  scholarships for first generation students (first in family to go to university) and students from economically poor families. 
    Let us all work together so that we can ensure the right to quality education opportunities for the 4.2 million children currently living in poverty in the UK. This is important for the better future of our country and our future generations.
    I am grateful to everyone working for education opportunities for all.
    Best wishes
    Suchith 
    Dr Suchith Anand
    Senior Adviser to Governments and International Organisations | Scientist | AI Ethics | AI Governance | Policy | Consultant in Data and AI Ethics | Global Citizen | SDG Volunteer and Advocate
    https://council.science/profile/suchith-anand/
    https://www.rd-alliance.org/users/suchith-anand

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