King’s College London has announced that it is to launch the largest scholarship programme in its history, following a £20 million personal donation to its law school by businessman and philanthropist Dickson Poon.
As everyone knows, legal careers do not come cheap, and the announcement follows reports that university applications are down by a quarter as middle class students decide against higher education following the steep rise in tuition fees.
Many universities offer scholarships and bursaries to attract the most talented students and to provide financial help to would-be lawyers from less privileged backgrounds, but the Dickson Poon Scholarship is unlike any other.
The scholarship is available to students from all backgrounds and the law school expects that next year 75 of its 225 undergraduates will benefit from the programme, and up to 50 of them will receive awards of £18,000. Ten of the scholarships will be set aside for the undergraduate politics, philosophy and law programme, and fifteen will be reserved for students from Hong Kong and China.
The donation by the Harvey Nichols owner has been described by Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman as a “milestone” in the 180 year history of Kings College. He said that “The Dickson Poon Scholarship Programme is the best and largest of its kind for law in this country and aims to attract the brightest and most talented legal scholars and students to The Dickson Poon School of Law.”
Postgraduate Law students will also gain from Poon’s generosity. Five PhD students enrolling in 2013 can also win scholarships of more than £90,000 each over three years. Dickson Poon said of the donation “The scholarships will help to enable exemplary students with academic agility and unlimited ambition to develop into future global leaders in all areas of law, business, education and civil society.”
The £20 million donation by Poon is thought to be the largest ever donation to a British or European law faculty and is part of a £40 million investment programme.
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