1. Eligible students

1.1 The financial scholarship is a £5,000 award open to students who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Achieve at least AAA at A level or equivalent.
  • Meet one of the following:
    • Live in one of the more deprived areas of the UK. This is defined as deciles 1-4 of the Government’s English Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2019. This will be based on the student’s permanent residence when they apply.
    • They are a care leaver. In order to be considered a Care Leaver, students must prove that they have spent at least 13 weeks in care, some of which was during their teens, and that they are leaving the care system in the 12 months before they start university or they are a 'former relevant child pursuing education' (this usually means they’ve spent at least 13 weeks in care, some of which was during their teens, but may depend on their local authority).
    • They have official refugee status.
  • Apply to study a full-time undergraduate course, starting in September 2021, by the 1 March. 
  • Accept an offer from the University as their firm choice to study a full time eligible undergraduate course, starting in September 2021.
  • Be a UK student who is liable for the UK rate of tuition fees (EU, International and Channel Islands students are not eligible to receive the Scholarship).
  • Be willing to act as a champion for the University to encourage future students to progress to Higher Education. This may involve sharing your story or experiences of studying at Portsmouth to use in our promotion of the University or supporting our recruitment and outreach events such as Open Days to inspire future students.

1.2 There is a limited number of scholarships, so student eligibility does not guarantee that students will receive an award. Students will need to apply for the scholarship and successful applicants will be selected by our scholarship panel. 

2. Eligible courses

2.1 Full-time, campus-based, undergraduate courses. These are BEng (Hons), BSc (Econ) (Hons), BN (Hons), BSc (Hons), BA (Hons), LLB (Hons), MEng, MMath, MPharm (Hons) and MPhys (Hons) courses only. Top up courses, degree apprenticeships and distance learning are not eligible.

2.2 Students must have completed their registration onto year 1 of their course to receive the Best Begins Scholarship.

2.4 Students awarded the Best Begins Scholarship will receive a £3,000 scholarship in the first year, £1,000 in their second year and £1,000 in their final year. Students on a four year integrated masters course will receive £2,000 in their first year, £1,000 in their second year, £1,000 in their third year and £1,000 in their fourth year.

2.5 Scholarship payments in years 2, 3 and 4 will be conditional on students obtaining a 1st or 2:1 at the end of each previous year.

2.6 Scholarship payments will not be made when students are on a sandwich placement year or a year abroad. 

2.7 The scholarship payment is subject to students registering and providing their bank details. The University of Portsmouth will inform successful applicants of how and when these payments will be made at the earliest available opportunity.

2.5 The list of eligible courses is subject to approval, modifications, closure and suspensions.

3. Academic criteria

3.1 Successful applicants will need to achieve or exceed AAA at A level or equivalent.

3.2 Applicants must also meet specific course entry criteria for their course.

4. Application process

4.1 Applicants will need to complete the Scholarship application in order to be considered. 

4.2 As part of scholarship application, students will need to provide a short statement demonstrating how studying at the University of Portsmouth and being awarded the Best Begins scholarship will prepare them for their future.

4.3 Decisions on the award of the scholarship will be made by a University Scholarship Panel in April. Decisions will be based on the eligibility criteria, academic predictions and achievements and the scholarship application.

4.4. The panel’s decision is final and the panel shall not be obliged to provide reasons for their decisions.

5. Timescales

5.1 Successful applicants will be notified by September 2021 following receipt of final examination grades. They will need to accept a place on their course as their firm choice and achieve at least AAA at A level or equivalent in order to receive the scholarship.

5.2 Scholarships will be allocated and students notified once results have been confirmed and verified.

5.2 Students will then be required to provide bank details for payment to be made.

6. Operational terms and conditions

6.1 Scholarships will be made to successful students on eligible courses, subject to the availability of the limited awards.

6.2 Scholarships are subject to applicants applying to the university by the 1 March 2021 and becoming a firm offer holder on an eligible full time undergraduate course commencing in September 2021.  

6.3 Students who defer their place to September 2022 or later will not be eligible for the scholarship.

6.4 The £5,000 scholarship will be paid into a bank account chosen by the student.

6.5 Successful applicants will be required to fully register onto each year of their course to remain eligible for the scholarship. This entails completing the online registration form and providing original evidence of their personal identity in accordance with University regulations , and paying the residual balance of any fees. Any extension to become fully registered onto the course will need to be requested through the late registration process. If this does not happen students will become ineligible to receive the scholarship.

6.6 Students who suspend or withdraw from their studies before receiving full payment of the award will become ineligible for the scholarship. No extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration.

6.7 Students who transfer to an ineligible course before receiving full payment of the award will become ineligible for the scholarship.

6.10 Applicants who receive the Best Begins Scholarship will still be entitled to apply for student loans, bursaries and scholarships, subject to their eligibility.

6.11 The University’s decision on the allocation of the scholarship in accordance with these terms and conditions is final. There is no appeals process.

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