Sheffield students make the grade

Fifteen Students from the University of Sheffield are among the first to take part in The Lloyds Scholars Programme, which is designed to support and encourage students from below average income families to study at leading universities.

The Programme will help the students enhance their academic qualifications by providing work experience and skills that lead to a career by helping them develop a competitive employable edge by providing financial support, mentoring and volunteering opportunities.

The inaugural intake of students*, who went through a challenging assessment centre and had to meet a number of criteria to be accepted onto the programme, were celebrated on Monday in London. Among those Sheffield students attending the signing ceremony were Kahar Hussain and Lee-Anne Reddey.

University of Sheffield Lloyds Scholar, Kahar Hussain, said: "The Lloyds Scholars Programme gives me courage to do things I would not have had confidence to do otherwise,"

Another of the scholars, Lee-Anne Reddey, commented: "Being able to call myself a Lloyds Scholar and explain what comes with this title will make me more attractive as a graduate employee."

Rebecca Hughes, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Sheffield said: "The University of Sheffield is continually working to ensure we give the opportunity of a world class education to a wide cross section of society. The Lloyds Scholarship Scheme means that 15 outstanding young people can get the full benefit of university which may otherwise have not been available to them.

"Lloyds have set the pace with the scholarship scheme, delivering a fully rounded programme which supports young people not only financially but also prepares them for great careers and being active citizens. We look forward to watching this scheme grow."

Matt Young, Group Corporate Affairs Director for Lloyds Banking Group said: "The number of applications received for this year's pilot intake was very high and the calibre of those applying was exceptional. I congratulate the students who were selected as our inaugural Lloyds Scholars, they have already demonstrated huge ability and potential which we will help harness and develop further throughout the course of their studies."

Welcoming Lloyds Scholars programme, Liam Burns, President, National Union of Students (NUS) said: "This is truly a worthwhile initiative that provides a firm platform for widening participation to higher education for less well-off families. We are particularly pleased that the scheme seeks to deepen participation through volunteering at university, ensuring that students not only receive the appropriate support through their mentoring scheme but are being positively encouraged to further develop themselves during their free-time with highly commendable initiatives all of which are designed to make students stand out from the crowd."

Notes for Editors: The pilot Lloyds Scholars Programme starts this autumn, with two of the UK's leading universities, Bristol and Sheffield. The programme is open to 30 students from families with incomes below £25k PA, who achieve a minimum of 320 UCAS points in their top three A-Levels or equivalent. It will offer a range of support across four key areas:

Financial – bursaries and performance-related awards, spread over three years, worth up to £10,000 to the most successful scholars

Work experience – 10 week paid internships at Lloyds during the 1st and 2nd year summer holidays. These are salaried at £18k on an annual pro-rata basis

Mentoring – each scholar will be assigned a mentor from the business' senior management and a peer buddy who has gone through the company's existing graduate scheme to help with CV and interview advice

Volunteering – scholars will take on 100 hours a year community volunteering work organised by their Universities in conjunction with Lloyds

Reactions from all Sheffield students who have been accepted onto the inaugural programme are available. Photographs are being taken on the evening and will be made available.

*Sheffield Students accepted onto the inaugural programme are: Carl Baker; Olivia Burrell; Zoe Faulkner; Christopher Fleming; Laura Claire Elliott; Emma Fairhurst; Rebekah Hanns; Benjamin Hayes; Tarandeep Hayre; Rebecca Hetherington; Kahar Hussain; Lucy Kempster; Justin Pryce; Lee-Anne Reddey; Hannah Townsend.

For further information please contact: Sean Barton, Media Relations Assistant, on 0114 2229852 or email s.barton@sheffield.ac.uk