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New postgraduate scholarships launched for Muslim women

Fully-funded tuition for Masters degrees

Smiling female student in a white headscarf and academic gown at a graduation ceremony

Murray Edwards College, Cambridge is delighted to announce a new Masters scholarship programme that will fully fund postgraduate tuition for talented British Muslim women.

The all-women College is launching the scholarships in partnership with the Aziz Foundation, a charity which funds British Muslim scholars to study at UK universities and then supports them to make meaningful contributions in their careers, communities and wider society. The programme is the first to be targeted by the Foundation exclusively at women.

Under the new partnership, funded jointly by the College and the Foundation, recipients of the Scholarships will have their tuition fees paid for an eligible Masters degree at Murray Edwards College. 

To qualify, candidates must demonstrate active engagement in British Muslim communities, and show a long-term commitment to the development of their community and society. 

Applications for the new Aziz Foundation Scholarships open on 15 January, with the first recipients joining the College for the 2024-25 academic year. In the initial year, up to three scholarship places will be on offer.

Wider mission

The programme reflects the College’s wider mission to ensure all those who qualify academically have the chance to come to Cambridge University, no matter what their background. 

Murray Edwards is committed to widening participation and has developed a range of initiatives designed to provide academic and other support for potential applicants. She Talks Science is a nationwide programme for young women studying STEM subjects at sixth form, while the College also delivers targeted regional programmes to reach under-represented groups, working with schools in Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, the London borough of Haringey and beyond. 

Murray Edwards President Dorothy Byrne said: ‘We are delighted to be partnering with the Aziz Foundation to encourage and support talented young women from diverse backgrounds to join us at Murray Edwards College, and then go on to contribute to society.’ 

The College’s Head of Access and Recruitment, Matt Diston, said: ‘We hope this pioneering partnership will encourage young Muslim women who are already making a difference in their own communities to consider Murray Edwards as a welcoming place for them. The scholarships are the latest important step in our efforts to ensure that all talented students feel they can belong at Cambridge.’ 

College 'an inclusive space'

Aziz Foundation Programme Manager, Dr Zain Sardar, said: ‘I am overjoyed that Murray Edwards is joining us as one of our newest partners. I am very impressed by the College’s commitment to creating an inclusive space for British Muslim women, as well as the range of outreach work run within disadvantaged communities. This all attests to the College’s genuine determination to maintain a diverse student cohort and, in particular, extend opportunities to British Muslims.’ 

The Foundation’s Trustee, Rahima Aziz BEM, said: ‘For us, this partnership is one of a kind. Working with a female-only College will enable us to further a major strand of our mission, which is to remove the financial barriers that hinder the progression of exceptional and driven British Muslim women.’

Once Aziz Scholars complete their course, there may be opportunities for further support from the College and the Foundation, in areas such as further academic study, research, employment and career development.

  • For more information and to apply for the Murray Edwards Aziz Foundation Scholarships, please visit Scholarships (azizfoundation.org.uk). Applications open on 15 January 2024. Candidates must first be accepted for a scholarship, and then apply to Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge.

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