Good deeds pay off, and University Living, a global student housing provider, has gone the extra mile to make sure of that. In an initiative launched in association with Nottingham Trent University, UK, they have introduced a scholarship for students of Indian citizenship who have contributed in some way or form to better society, the environment, or people’s lives around them.
Nottingham Trent University, UK, is no stranger to students, and as it turns out, is one of the preferred choices because of its excellent offerings. It is one of the most prestigious universities in the UK and was named The Guardian University of the Year in 2019.
As per the information shared by the Bureau of Immigration (BoI), over 1.33L Indians have gone abroad this year so far for higher studies, most of them heading to the US, Canada, & UK. This shows that the pandemic hasn’t deterred their plans of studying abroad. In fact, according to a post shared by Stephanie Harris, Acting Assistant Director for Policy and Global Engagement at Universities UK International, on LinkedIn, “…HESA data shows that 605,000 international students were studying at UK universities in 20/21 despite the immense challenges of C-19. Reaching the UK govt target in the International Education Strategy 8 years early.”
This number is only said to rise as the world learns to live with the pandemic and find ways to work around it. A report published by Knight Frank states that the value of the UK’s PBSA (Purpose Built Student Accommodation) sector is set to reach £72 billion in 2022. There is a glaring demand-supply gap in this sector, and this is one of the reasons why students often miss out on getting feasible accommodation options.
The idea of the scholarship was conceived owing to a growing number of students applying to Nottingham. “The idea was to help make the dream of students looking to study abroad a reality,” said Saurabh Arora, Founder and CEO of University Living. “We wanted to celebrate those students making a difference and creating a social impact on the people or places around them. We consciously decided to not base the scholarship on grades or academic performance but reward the heart of a person. We fondly refer to it as ‘Scholarship with a soul’ as it is more than just a cut-and-dry scholarship. We wanted to instil in students the reaffirmation that good deeds do pay.”
While there are plenty of scholarships that are offered based on sports, academic or other skill-based excellence. However, this scholarship, open exclusively to students globally, who are citizens of India, underscores the importance of life beyond academics. “This is especially close to my heart, as it was my stint with NTU that led to the realisation and actualisation of University Living. I struggled to find accommodation and ended up spending exorbitant amounts on hotel charges. It’s simple – the previous generation was all about IQ, the current generation is about EQ, but the coming decade is going to be about SQ (Social Quotient).” added Saurabh Arora, CEO & Founder, University Living.
The company has been growing steadily over the past few years and has been resilient even through the pandemic. They have launched several value-added services, including remittance and guarantor services, to help enhance the student experience and study abroad journey. This scholarship is their next step in contributing to the higher education ecosystem.
“The ‘Social Scholarship’ is aimed at rewarding students who have played an impactful role in bettering society,” says Mayank, Co-founder and COO of University Living. “Grades will not be considered as an eligibility criterion; all that is being looked at is the level of social consciousness in the student. Students who have actively championed a cause and helped drive change are more than welcome to apply. The value of the scholarship will be £5000 and will be open to all students of Indian nationality.” he continued.
“Students satisfaction is a key focus with Nottingham Trent University. We’ve always emphasised on investing in the right areas. The biggest way we’re trying to help our students is by helping them get back to their life at the university before the pandemic. We want them to have experiences beyond the virtual world. For us, it was such a great opportunity when we were approached by Saurabh and the team because India is an important country for NTU. We are fortunate to have a huge number of Indian students, and we’re really lucky that India (as a country) has taken to the University,” said Mirza Mujic, Senior Regional Manager at Nottingham Trent University.
He further added, “We’ve become one of the most popular universities for Indian students in the UK over the years. This was our way of saying thank you and giving back to the country and its students. This is us taking that next step to help ease that burden of tuition fees or accommodation fees. Ultimately universities are not just about education or acquiring skills; the 3-4 years you spend at a university develop you as a person, they expand your horizons, and they are about understanding different cultures and people. We, as a university, are trying to build the global citizens of tomorrow. What better way to do that than reward those very students who are leading by example”.
This scholarship is for Indian students who have applied to Nottingham Trent University, UK and requires you to upload a video of the social impact you have created. The last date to apply is 31st May. For more information, you can visit the University Living website and check if you’re eligible.
“This is the first in a series of scholarships that we are launching. Given that we at University Living share their (NTU’s) values and vision, this collaboration was inevitable and a no-brainer. We have joined forces to celebrate students and empower them through their educational journey via our social scholarship, and we hope to launch many more such scholarships with universities globally to continue our endeavour to help the international student community and give them a platform to be better citizens before anything else.” concluded Mayank Maheshwari.
University Living also announced that they plan to launch 2 more scholarships as part of their scholarship initiative, including a Living Scholarship to cover part of their accommodation expenses and an Academic Scholarship, which will help cover part of their tuition fees.