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Advancing equality and diversity in universities and colleges


Home Publication Equality Act 2010: positive action through bursaries, scholarships and prizes

Equality Act 2010: positive action through bursaries, scholarships and prizes

Avoid unlawful discrimination in bursaries, scholarships and prizes

Higher education institutions award bursaries, scholarships and prizes in many forms, and based on a wide variety of selection criteria.

Whether based on a student’s means, subject or background; funded by a donor or directly by the HEI; in the form of money, discounted fees or accommodation, it is vital that these awards avoid unlawful discrimination.

This briefing provides an outline of the legal issues involved, identifying the key risks faced by HEIs and steps that can be taken to ensure they can legally provide bursaries, scholarships and prizes. It has been developed in response to queries we have received from the sector on the legality and appropriateness of schemes.

Contents include:

  • Types of bursaries, scholarships and prizes
  • Awards using the institution’s own resources
  • Third party donations
  • Charities
  • Issues to consider