Postgraduate education is a requisite for some professions but if there are no loans available it becomes barrier to social mobility and a tremendous waste of talent.
Retail banks have been unsuccessful in lending to students and their portfolios have barely paid off. As an example, HSBC discontinued its MBA loan scheme in Cranfield and other top UK business schools last year.
StudentFunder combines elements from these three alternatives reducing costs and risks:
Most universities cannot hope to raise enough donations to fill the gap and such funding is unreliable.
Prodigy Finance (EU) and SoFi (US) lend to students, but their offer is limited to certain programmes, do not cover living expenses and do not offer networking opportunities.
Some students have already started using crowdfunding sites like “IndieGoGo”.
With RSA support, the project is addressing the gaps identified, providing funding for more than 65 young people on professional and master’s courses since 2012.
The additional Centenary Prize money will primarily fund a roadshow across the UK through which the project will connect with more RSA Fellows. It will provide a great platform to promote StudentFunder among universities across the country and find Fellows who can help.