Young, Gifted and Blocked

New campaign video highlights the plight of young UK migrants denied access to Student Finance.
14 Oct 2016

The centrepiece of Let us Learn/Just for Kid’s law’s ‘Young, Gifted and Blocked’ campaign (launched today) is a powerful three-minute film, featuring eight ambitious and highly motivated young people who have faced barriers to taking up hard-won university places.

This unique film, made by Contra Agency, came about as a result of collaboration between Tashi Tahir a gifted maths student, The Robertson Trust, and Just for Kids Law/Let us Learn.

Let us Learn was approached by Tashi Tahir, 20, a maths student at St Andrews University, Scotland. Tashi was a supporter of the campaign, having previously faced her own difficulties in continuing her studies because she was ineligible for a student loan. She had been able to take up her place at St Andrews only thanks to a scholarship from The Robertson Trust, and was keen to help others who were still in educational limbo.

The timing was perfect. Let us Learn was planning to launch a campaign targeting universities, by writing to vice-chancellors, calling on them to set up special funding schemes to enable students like them to continue their studies. They realised that a video explaining the issue and allowing students directly affected to talk about their educational dreams and career ambitions would be a powerful addition to the campaign.

She applied for and was granted a ‘self-development’ award from The Robertson Trust to make the film and spent the summer in London working with the Just for Kids Law/Let us Learn team to develop and produce the film. Tashi also appears in the video, explaining how she first found out she didn’t qualify for a loan, and how she believes universities are missing out on many able students because of the current shortage of scholarships and bursaries they can apply for.

Joel Carter, Let us Learn project manager, says: ‘Tashi has been a brilliant addition to the team and we have all enjoyed working with her on this film. All of us are delighted with the result. The film really encapsulates the excitement that the Let us Learn campaigners feel about the prospect of going to university and why they want to continue learning. I want to thank not just Tashi, but Ade Lamuye, another key member of the Let us Learn team who worked on the film, plus all the participants, Agnes, Ruth, Tosin, Arkam, Sam, Chrisann and Kimani. Thanks also to everyone at Contra, who did a brilliant job and were completely enthusiastic and committed to the project all the way through.