Learn more about the Foundation- Interviews

We are grateful to have been given the platforms to talk about the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation and motivation behind it. If you missed the interviews, or would just like to find out more about the foundation, you can listen to the interviews below.


Listen to our founder Richard on BBC Radio Bristol (19.01.21) talking about the importance of role models when growing up:


Richard on BBC Radio Solent (20.01.21) talking about the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation and #Blacklivesmatter:


Richard talks about his childhood and the Nigerian Civil War, the importance of education, and why we need to increase representation throughout society:


We need your help to fund 100 disadvantaged Black students through university- https://uk.gofundme.com/f/cowrie-scholarship-foundation

Donation Story- Harrison and Mecklenburgh Families

We would like to thank Rosemary Mecklenburgh and the Mecklenburgh and Harrison families for sharing their donation story with us.


A Note for the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation


We write this note as the children and grand-children of Robin Harrison who was Warden of Merton
College, Oxford from 1963 to 1969. Over the past few years, since the shocking information about
the loans taken out to fund compensation to slave owners in the 1830s came to our attention, we
have been researching our family tree. We were disturbed to learn that that Robin’s Great-Great-
Grandfather had been a slave owner in Jamaica. As far as we have been able to establish he had
owned one slave, John Lawrence Freeman and we were glad to discover that he was freed in the 18th
century. We are sure that our ancestor would have owned other slaves to work in his house.
However we are confident that as his son, who was alive in 1833, lived in England and did not own
any slaves, that our forebears had not benefitted from the compensation paid to slave owners after
the Act of 1833. Nevertheless the scandalous treatment of the Windrush generation, the increased
risks faced by BAME frontline workers from COVID 19 and the murder of George Floyd led us to
contemplate what Robin’s reaction would have been had he been alive today. In his professional life
Robin worked hard to combat the inequalities that existed then in Higher Education. We remember
his strong views about the Windrush generation and the injustices of the Immigration Acts of the
early 1960s.

Furthermore, we believe that Robin would have strongly supported the Cowrie Scholarship
Foundation with its aim of funding 100 Black and [disadvantaged] students through university in the next
decade. We have already raised £2500 for the Foundation by auctioning furniture and other items
which had been inherited from our parents. The remainder of our families have agreed to donate to
the Foundation 10% of what we inherit from our Aunt Katharine when her estate is finalised. We
chose the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation because we felt that its aim was excellent and achievable
and also because one of us knew one of the Trustees, Professor Chris Jackson, and much admired
him with his aim of improving BAME representation not just at the undergraduate level but within
academia as a whole. The family have now met Professor Richard Oreffo, Founder and Trustee of
the Foundation via ZOOM and we are even more committed to this Charity as we found him equally

Rosemary Mecklenburgh
On behalf of the Harrison and Mecklenburgh Families


If you have a donation story we would love to hear from you- https://cowriescholarshipfoundation.org.uk/contact-us/

If you would like to help transform the lives of disadvantaged Black students, please visit our gofundme page- https://www.gofundme.com/f/cowrie-scholarship-foundation

New University Partnership – University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow logo

We are excited to announce our newest university partnership with the University of Glasgow. Glasgow will join our current university partners, who can be found here: https://cowriescholarshipfoundation.org.uk/partners/

Each of our partner universities will cover the tuition fees, and in some cases the maintenance, for at least three students over a decade from October 2021.


University of Glasgow

Rachel Sandison, Vice-Principal, External Relations at the University of Glasgow, said:

“The University of Glasgow is delighted to partner with the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation to offer new scholarships that will provide access to higher education for disadvantaged Black students within the UK.

“The University leads a comprehensive and ambitious widening participation agenda, where we are committed to raising aspirations and supporting access to one of the world’s top universities. Our partnership with the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation will provide not just the financial means for students to undertake undergraduate study but will also provide an important support network and mentorship to students to help enable successful degree outcomes.

“Importantly, participation in this new scholarship scheme further delivers our commitments to equality and inclusion, building on the successful James McCune Smith Scholarships launched in 2019 as part of our reparative justice programme.”


The university expects that the application process for the scholarship will open on 5 April 2021 and close on 30 June 2021.


We are delighted with this new university partnership – you can help us to enable these students to receive a full scholarship by giving what you can at:


New University Partnership – King’s College London

We are happy to announce our newest university partnership with King’s College London. King’s will join our current university partners, who can be found here: https://cowriescholarshipfoundation.org.uk/partners/

Each of the six partner universities will cover the tuition fees, and in some cases the maintenance, for at least three students over a decade from October 2021.


King’s College London

“I am delighted and proud that we are only one of small number of universities to offer this opportunity. Inclusion is a value at the centre of everything we do at King’s, and we believe that as a diverse community, we can help build a fully inclusive anti-racist society. Access to a university education must not be limited by race, ethnicity, social class, gender, or circumstances. However, this is not the case for everyone in today’s society. We are very aware of how much more needs to be done, but we are excited to be taking a further positive step forward by partnering with the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation to provide scholarships for Black British students who might otherwise be unable to benefit from an university education. We look forward to welcoming them to our diverse community.”

Professor Nicola Phillips

Vice Principal (Education)


“We are proud of our diverse community at King’s and inclusion runs central to our vision as a world leading university, serving the needs of society. As an educational organisation we have been examining how we can improve inclusion and take even more steps to making a positive change and ensure King’s is a welcoming place to all. This important new initiative provides an opportunity to harness education for positive change and supports our commitment and ongoing work to advance race equality at our university.”

Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin

Vice-Principal (International)


We are delighted with this new university partnership – you can help us to enable these students to receive a full scholarship by donating at: