Oxford University has released a statement denying claims it rejected a scholarship proposal from grime star Stormzy.
The double MOBO Award winner made the allegation at the Barbican Centre on Wednesday.
Earlier this year his offer to help finance the education and associated living costs of a four-year undergraduate course for two students this year and another two in 2019 was confirmed with Cambridge University.
The Guardian reported that Stormzy was at the Barbican with rapper and author Akala, poet Benjamin Zephaniah and guests including Malorie Blackman for the launch of MerkyBooks, a printing partnership with Penguin designed to create “a home for a new generation of voices”.
“We tried Oxford but they didn’t want to get involved,” Stormzy said.
“If you’re academically brilliant don’t think because you come from a certain community that studying at one of the highest education institutions in the world isn’t possible.”
But a spokesperson for Oxford University says no such offer was ever put forward.
In a statement the university said: “Oxford University is committed to widening access and participation for all students from under-represented backgrounds.
“We admire Stormzy’s commitment to inspire and support black students to succeed in higher education.
“We have not received or turned down any offer or proposal to fund undergraduate scholarships at Oxford.
“We have contacted to Stormzy’s representatives today to clarify we would welcome the opportunity to work together on inspiring students from African-Caribbean heritage to study at Oxford.”
Cover image by David Holt (Creative Commons).