STORMZY won plaudits yesterday by announcing that he would fund two black students’ degrees at Cambridge University – but the move appears to contrast with the popular grime artist’s previous comments, which suggested he favoured Oxford.

The new initiative aims to increase diversity in British higher education, by fully funding two Cambridge students' degrees, but the University's long-standing rival is notable in its absence.

Oxford Mail:

The artist in Cambridge - pic. Cambridge University/PA Wire

Oxford University said it had not been approached about a scheme similar to that at Cambridge, announced yesterday to coincide with A-Level results day. 

In 2016, while speaking at Oxford University, Stormzy told students: “It was my dream to come to Oxford and study political science.

"I always thought Oxford is better [than Cambridge] anyway, it’s got a ring to it.”

He has also previously paid for an Oxford student to go to Harvard.

Oxford University welcomed the move and said they valued Stormzy’s work with its African Caribbean Society, but would not comment further.

Oxford has come under heavy criticism in recent months – notably from David Lammy – following statistics which showed ‘glacial’ improvement in diversity among the student population.

And last year the institution announced a scheme solely for white working class boys.

But there is no indication of why Oxford appears to have been snubbed in favour of Cambridge for this scheme.

The Oxford Mail has tried to contact Stormzy for further comment.

Speaking about the Cambridge initiative yesterday, he said: “There are so many young black kids all over the country who have the level of academic excellence to study at a university such as Cambridge - however we are still under represented at leading universities.

“We, as a minority, have so many examples of black students who have excelled at every level of education throughout the years. I hope this scholarship serves as a small reminder that if young black students wish to study at one of the best universities in the world, then the opportunity is yours for the taking - and if funding is one of the barriers, then we can work towards breaking that barrier down.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: "Fantastic generosity from @Stormzy, but he shouldn't have to do this. Our top universities remain inaccessible for too many young black students. Universities and the government must change this."