Undergraduate Studies Bursary facilitates education for high potential secondary school graduates

The Barzilai Foundation is facilitating access to higher education for high-potential students through a new bursary, Barzilai Foundation Undergraduate Studies Bursary. In collaboration with Bayside School, Westside School, Gibraltar College of further education and the EV Foundation, this bursary breaks down a key barrier for students who otherwise might not apply to university or would require balancing employment with full-time study.

This new bursary will deliver on a key component of the Foundation’s mission, providing opportunity to individuals to improve their own life where circumstances beyond their control are prohibiting that progress. This bursary will be the Foundation’s second programme in its Education Access initiative, following the recently-announced Access to Nursing bursary.

Even though education is a proven way to achieve social mobility, low-income students often opt out of it immediately due to cost. While Gibraltar residents are provided substantial support for their education, the standard cost of living in countries such as the United Kingdom can be 30% - 40% higher than in Gibraltar, and for many families the cost of setting up a residence for the student, education materials and rising living expenses has meant that students are simply not able to afford pursuing a degree.

“This bursary will be life-changing for the students involved,” reflected Claire Trinidad, Year 12/13 Coordinator at Westside School. “It will give them the peace of mind to be able to focus on their studies and enjoy the university experience without having to endure financial pressure. There are always occasions in years 12&13 when we prepare students for university who have very real worries about how they will cope financially while they are away studying. This fantastic programme will make a real difference to these individuals' educational experience and future.”

Vanessa Saccone Recagno, Student Services Coordinator at Gibraltar College added, “By reducing the financial burden on students, bursaries can improve their overall quality of life. Students can continue with their studies without worrying about how they will pay for their education, which can lead to better academic performance and increased opportunities after graduation. It also gives students a sense of security and they can feel just as supported as their peers.”

Offering hard-working individuals a path out of hardship has been a focus of the Barzilai Foundation. This programme can remove a major barrier to higher education and the subsequent academic opportunity and progress can be foundational in changing their life, in a way they can hand down to their children. Through programmes like this, the Barzilai Foundation strives to make an impact that reverberates for generations.

“I can’t wait to meet our first group of recipients, who will begin their adult lives with an opportunity as opposed to a door shut to them,” commented Brandon Sosa, CEO of the Barzilai Foundation. “These bursaries will be with them through their university journey, and I am even more excited to see these young people grow and be graduates starting their career journey better equipped to succeed.”