ExxonMobil donation helps drive foundation's mission

A charity's goal to give economically disadvantaged black students an opportunity to attend university has been given a boost with a £6,500 contribution from ExxonMobil UK headquarters in Leatherhead. 


The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation was set up in June 2020 by Professor Richard OC Oreffo, Director of the Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration at the University of Southampton.  Over the next decade, the foundation aims to give 100 black British students from disadvantaged backgrounds fully funded scholarships to study the subject of their choice at university.

The donation will be used to provide a new server to power Cowrie’s IT infrastructure. Prof Oreffo said: “We are delighted to receive this contribution from ExxonMobil that will transform our IT capability allowing infrastructure support towards a standalone platform for our computing needs.

“Black British students are under-represented at many of our universities. Individuals from affluent areas are five times more likely than those from deprived areas to attend a high-tariff university. While many issues are at play in why more black British students do not enter university, the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation seeks to address one part of the jigsaw – the financial cost of university education.”

Roger Salomone, UK Public & Government Affairs Manager said: “Inclusion and diversity are at the heart of ExxonMobil’s activities in the UK - we know that embracing the power of diversity and creating an inclusive culture enables people to reach their full potential. We also have a proud history of supporting educational programmes that provide learning opportunities and inspiration for all.

“We very much hope this contribution to the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation will help it achieve its goal of helping more black students into higher education over the next decade. We wish the foundation, and the students who will benefit from this fantastic initiative, every success.”

Image Professor Richard OC Oreffo set up theCowrie Scholarship Foundation in June 2020
Professor Richard OC Oreffo set up the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation in June 2020