First cohort of students arriving at the University of Kent in 1965

First 500 Scholarship launches to support next generation of Kent students

The cohort of the first students to attend the University of Kent in 1965, known as the First 500, have launched a scholarship offering one student £2,000 a year for each year of study.

The First 500 Scholarship will start in September 2017 and will open to all undergraduate students. To be considered for the scholarship students must have attained AAB from three A Levels or equivalent.

John Platt (1965, Economics) and Robin Pitman (1965, Physics) were two of the First 500 cohort and integral in setting up the First 500 Scholarship. They said they hoped it would help ensure some of the next generation of students at Kent benefited from the same education they enjoyed.

‘We founded the First 500 Fund to commemorate our role as Kent’s founding students and to provide one of today’s undergraduates with an additional resource to help them pursue a special area of interest while at the University. We look forward to meeting the inaugural First 500 scholar and to helping more students in the years to come.’

Alison Coles, Director of Development, added: ‘We are delighted that the First 500 have chosen to commemorate their role as Kent’s founding students with this important award. This is a clear testament to the value of philanthropy and to the strength of the University’s relationship with our alumni community. We are extremely grateful to the First 500 for establishing this fund and for their support for the University of Kent and its students today.’

It will be offered to anyone who receives a firm offer of place at the University and is aimed at students below the criteria for Academic Excellence scholarship and above the threshold for need-based financial aid.

For the first year of the Scholarship all eligible students who are accepted to the University will be invited to apply for the First 500 Scholarship by answering an essay question that asks students to put themselves in the position of the First 500 when they joined.

‘When the first students arrived at the new University of Kent at Canterbury (as the University was then known) in 1965, there were no societies, no sports clubs and no student representation. In 2017, 20,000 students enjoy 67 sports clubs, 189 societies, and there are over 400 student representatives. Kent’s first students had the opportunity – and the responsibility – to start all of these from scratch. If we were opening a new university in 2017 and you were in that first student intake, what would you start and why?’