Somerville College and the History Faculty of the University of Oxford are collaborating to launch a new scholarship for BAME postgraduate students.

The scholarship has been made possible owing to the financial support of Raj Tulsiani, the cofounder and chief executive of recruitment consultancy Green Park.

The Raj Tulsiani scholarship, for a taught Masters in History, will begin in the academic year starting in October 2020.

Mr Tulsiani said: “It’s a pleasure to be involved in the creation of future leadership. Oxford has done this through education for many years and, for thirteen years, Green Park has been placing diverse senior talent in leadership positions across the public, private and third sectors. This year Green Park has placed a diverse leader on a board every 8 days. By 2025, I want to make that a diverse person on a board every single day.

“For that we need a strong and diverse leadership pipeline that will become the robust, inclusive and representative board of tomorrow.

“Having the capability to support more diversity through this postgraduate scholarship, which will widen the gate for the brightest and the best BAME talent, is a step in the right direction and one that I’m very proud to have been able to take with Somerville.

“It may have been a long time since I lived above my family’s shop in West Croydon, but the lessons I learned growing up have impressed on me that while talent may be everywhere, opportunity is not. This scholarship is a part of my contribution to increasing opportunity.”

BAME students are relatively underrepresented in History, making only 9.3 per cent of students in the discipline compared to 22 per cent across all subjects at Oxford.

Chair of the Oxford History Faculty Board, Professor John Watts, said: “The History Faculty is so pleased to be able to join Mr Tulsiani in supporting this scholarship, and we hope that it will encourage more talented students from BAME backgrounds to apply to us.

“Ours is a broad Faculty, with a huge range of interests, and we want to be as equal and inclusive as we can be.”

A Humanities Division spokesperson said: “There are ongoing efforts by the Humanities Division to offer more UK BAME scholarships.

“In this academic year, three studentships were offered to Masters Humanities students from BAME backgrounds in collaboration with St Cross College.

“For the 2020-21 academic year, in addition to the Raj Tulsiani Scholarship, three studentships will be available for Masters Humanities students from BAME backgrounds in partnership with Mansfield, Pembroke and Wadham Colleges.”

The new scholarship was announced by the Principal on Tuesday during a BAME formal at Somerville.