Churchill has a long tradition of welcoming students from non-traditional Oxbridge schools and regions.

77% of offers to UK students in the 2020 admissions round were to state school pupils – significantly above the Office for Students (OfS) target of 65%. Contrary to other institutions, students from this group excel at Churchill – a College that has been placed 5th/29 across the last decade in the Tompkins Table. Our most disadvantaged students thrive here because of the individual support and targeted bursary funding they receive. These bursaries have only been made possible because of generous alumni support:

  • 100 undergraduates currently receive a means-tested Cambridge Bursary
  • 68% receive the maximum award of £3,500 per year, awarded to those with annual family incomes lower than £25,000.
  • Students in the greatest need also receive a top-up bursary of up to £2,000 (previously funded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust – WCMT)

Why are top-up bursaries needed at Churchill?

The Cambridge Bursary is an essential part of our package of support but it does not go far enough.

  • Students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds still face the acute need to secure paid work during vacations with the knock-on effect that opportunities available to their more privileged peers – such as unpaid or expenses only internships, overseas travel or further study – are constrained.
  • Top-up bursaries provide relief from the pressure of immediately having to find work in the holidays to pay rent to their parents or allow them to stay in College to study.

In short, the additional sum takes considerable pressure off our most disadvantaged students and gives them choices, academic and otherwise. This is why at Churchill students in the greatest need are awarded a top-up bursary of up to £2,000 per year.

Why we need your help

As a matter of urgent priority we would like to continue to fund the top-up bursaries as the funding previously received from the WCMT for this initiative has now ended. We need around £75,000 per year to maintain the level of support required, which is why we set up the Winston Churchill Top-Up Bursary Fund.

The ambition of Churchill’s Senior Tutor Richard Partington is to fund 10 top-up bursaries a year; ‘If we can fund 10 a year, we will be able to provide top-up bursaries to the poorest 10% of our intake’. Richard  himself has pledged £4,000 a year for five years to support the fund and we invite you to lend your support and help ensure talented students can continue to benefit from a Churchill education and the life-enhancing opportunities it provides, regardless of their background.

“The top-up bursary is about ordinary people, ordinary people facing in some cases extraordinary challenges. The difference the top-up funding will make will be life-changing for many of them.” Richard Partington, Senior Tutor, Churchill College

Richard met with the Development Office to talk about the importance of the top-up bursaries and explain why they make such a huge impact on our neediest students.

Those choosing to make a an annual gift of £1,960 in support of the Fund will be invited to join the 1960 Club.