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The University of Edinburgh
Andrea Levy Scholarship

smiling author Andrea Levy.

A scholarship for Black British undergraduate students at Edinburgh University.

Help where it's needed,
opportunity where it's due.

Andrea Levy grew up as a working class girl in north London. She went on to become an internationally famous novelist. But if she was growing up today, with more financial barriers to higher education, her writing career would probably never happen. Accessible higher education and continuing adult education was crucial to her success, and she always acknowledged that.

After her death in 2019 her family, with the help of Edinburgh University, set up a scholarship in her name to help young Black Britons, from low income backgrounds like herself, to more easily access top quality higher education. It was always her mission to help create a more diverse Britain at every level. She wanted the people who ‘run’ this country to look more like the people who live in it.

8% of all UK undergraduate students are Black British.
But for the top ‘Russell Group’ universities it’s only 4%.

If we want the people who have power and authority in all areas of life to reflect the true diversity of our society, this statistic needs to change. The Andrea Levy Scholarship at Edinburgh University is for undergraduate studies in any subject area and is awarded to one student of African or African Caribbean heritage per academic year. The scholarship provides a £5,000 per year stipend to help with living expenses, plus the university waives all tuition fees.

“I wanted to study at Edinburgh University from a young age and I felt a scholarship would provide me with the freedom to gain the most out of my university experience, while still being able to carry out my role as a young carer to my mother.

Luckily, I found the Andrea Levy Scholarship.”

Beenzu Dougan
, studying English and French literature

“I wanted to go to Edinburgh University as it has a good medical school – though I also knew that Edinburgh is an expensive city to live in, so without the Andrea Levy Scholarship it would have been a struggle to fund my living expenses.”

Maria Adjoa Amoah
, studying Medicine

“The Andrea Levy Scholarship gave me the chance not to have money anxieties. It has helped me to minimise my imposter syndrome. Edinburgh is a very prestigious university and it attracts students from very affluent backgrounds and it’s very easy for students like me to feel different and alienated. But now I feel like I can experience university fully ... it makes me feel at home in Edinburgh.”

Ruweyda Ahmed
, studying History

Why Edinburgh?

Andrea was a Londoner, born and bred. But Edinburgh was, for her, a much loved city. There are family links to the city and she appeared often at the annual Book Festival.

But more importantly, Edinburgh University is a famous world class institution. Like all Russell Group universities it has not attracted many British students of African or Caribbean heritage at undergraduate level in the past. But the university is very aware of this and committed to changing it and, as part of that, to providing appropriate support and pastoral care. The university’s generous contribution to the scholarship is to waive all tution fees for successful candidates.

If you want to find out more about the scholarship or if you, or someone you know, is interested in applying for it, then visit the university website.

“The Andrea Levy Scholarship has provided me with such peace. University in itself can be a stressful experience, but the scholarship provides overwhelming support.”

Gloria Tokunboh
, studying Psychology


Initial funding for the scholarship came from Andrea’s family and donations from friends and colleagues, and so far we have four talented and deserving students in the midst of their studies, and funding for one more for the next academic year.

But to keep the scholarship going into the future we now need to raise a total of £20,000 a year.


It’s easy to donate to the Andrea Levy Scholarship, whatever you can spare. There are no hidden overheads, all money donated, plus Gift Aid, goes straight to the scholarship student fund at Edinburgh University.

This scholarship changes lives.
It can help change the country too.

Thank you.

This appeal comes from the three person committee who initiated the scholarship:

Bill Mayblin
Andrea’s widower, contact on:

Gary Younge
the Journalist and writer who was a close friend of Andrea

Dr Maya Mayblin
Andrea’s step daughter and academic at Edinburgh University

To discuss directly with Edinburgh University contact

Cara McKeown, Philanthropy Officer at: