University award to support diverse students

woman poses with small award
Dr Miranda Brawn

Former Lambeth equality commissioner Dr Miranda Brawn and Oxford University have launched an award to support Black, Asian and mixed heritage students.

Open to UK undergraduates at the university from low-income households, the award will support excellence and ambition among talented future leaders by helping students the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Dr Brawn said the aim of the award, which carries her name, is to remove barriers faced by Black African, Caribbean, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and mixed heritage students when applying to Oxford and to increase diversity, equity and inclusion while studying and after they have graduated.

The seventh Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation scholarship application process is also now open.

The Oxford award is intended to help transform and support students’ university experience.

Dr Miranda Brawn Award scholars will also be empowered to use their voice for positive change through one-to-one mentoring with Dr Brawn.

Dr Brawn said the award “is in loving memory of the great women in my family. My late great-granny Philomena and late granny Victoria, both born in Dominica, and my late grandmother Maryam, born in India, who all stressed the importance of a great education which was re-emphasised by my parents.

“The award is very personal to me as it represents part of my own mixed heritage.

“Education is key to creating positive change in the world and the Dr Miranda Brawn Award at the University of Oxford will play its role with this important goal.”

Launching in Oxford’s Trinity term of 2022, which begins on 24 April, the award will enable recipients to undertake career development projects during the summer vacation, giving them the chance to enjoy activities or experiences that are not covered by other college or university financial support programmes.

This could include making a short film or starting a new business or social enterprise to complement and support their education.

Dr Brawn, regarded as one of the most influential women in finance, is a multi-award-winning businesswoman, lawyer, philanthropist, international public speaker, educator, success coach, investor, board director and diversity advocate.

She said the goal of the Oxford award is to support the education and career dreams of recipients “in order to have more c-suite leaders [a corporation’s most important senior executives], CEOs, board directors and successful business owners from these specific communities”.

This is one of the “most important investments that can be made right now to help our next generation, our economy and our future,” she said.

Despite progress in recent years, Black, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and mixed heritage undergraduate students from the UK are still under-represented at Oxford University.

The award will consist of funding and mentoring administered annually over a five-year period by the Oxford University Careers Service.

Students can apply by completing an application form and sending it to the university finance officer by Friday 6 May 2022.

Professor Martin Williams, pro-vice chancellor for education at Oxford, said: “We are committed to accelerating the pace at which we diversify our student body and are united in our efforts to remove the barriers that students face.”

Dr Brawn founded The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation, a UK registered charity, in 2016 to help empower, educate and support the next generation of diverse student leaders.

The charity, which has helped thousands of young people from all diverse backgrounds 

line-up at awards ceremony
Dr Brawn with the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Winners for 2021

The seventh Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation scholarship application process is now open.

The mission of this charity is to eliminate the diversity, equity and inclusion gaps in professional workplaces by educating, empowering and inspiring our next generation of diverse student leaders.

The scholarships were established in 2016.

“The aim is to make a real difference in the lives of our next generation by giving them a ticket to the lottery of life,” Dr Brawn said.

The closing date for applications is 5pm, 30 June.

At least 12 scholarships available to young people up to age of 30 years from diverse backgrounds.

Applicants must be at school, college or university on a full-time basis and achieving good grades with an interest in diversity. 

The scholarship award includes £500 to £1,000 in funding, mentoring and reverse mentoring with leaders in their field, work experience (if available and pending Covid restrictions) with leading UK organisations, etiquette educational training, networking, graduation group mentoring lunch and a VIP ticket to the annual Miranda Brawn diversity leadership lectures.

More information about the scholarship

For information on the Oxford award, email