A NEW scheme is designed to create more funding opportunities for under-represented groups.

The University of Oxford announced its Black Academic Futures programme today, a scholarship for black graduate students.

The scheme will provide up to 10 scholarships to UK research students starting studies next year.

Black UK graduates represent just 1.5 per cent of all postgraduates at Oxford, compared to 4 per cent across the UK.

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Martin Williams, pro-vice-chancellor for education, said: “The university has made important steps in recognising and addressing the issue of graduate access and specifically the under-representation of black students in academia in recent years, with a broad range of divisional, departmental and college initiatives, including scholarships.

“I am thrilled to announce the Black Academic Futures programme, the next step towards our vision of ensuring over time that finance is not a barrier to educational opportunity or pursuing graduate study at Oxford, and living up to our commitment to embody true inclusion.”

Last week, the university announced it will be abolishing its controversial Graduate Application Fee.