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NATIONAL EXTENSION COLLEGE LAUNCHES THE RUSSELL KANE SCHOLARSHIP

A new educational scholarship is being launched in the name of comedian Russell Kane.

The National Extension College, which offers Open University-style distance learning, will cover the cost of putting three people from lower socio-economic backgrounds through their GCSEs and A-levels under the new initiative.

After leaving school without A levels, he enrolled with NEC to study A-level Sociology. He studied for two hours every evening while living with his grandmother in her housing association flat and working in a Rolex store during the day.

Kane received the fastest ever A grade from enrolment to completion and received a special award from Betty Boothroyd, then Speaker of the House of Commons, for his incredible success. As a result of his studies with NEC, he was able to embark on a degree at Middlesex University London.

Now an advocate for widening participation in education and combating the socio-economic attainment gap, Russell has been outspoken about the need to improve options for working class students.

The Russell Kane Scholarship will provide learners the opportunity to study up to five GCSEs or three A-levels, plus exam costs.

Speaking of the scholarship, Russell said: ‘I feel humbled by the whole thing. I’m such a poster boy for what this National Extensions College can do. So the idea of finding people who are like me educational journey of any age, any background, any gender, whatever, and then putting a scholarship fund behind that to help them on their journey… I mean it makes me feel so old but if Stormzy’s doing scholarships…

‘I really want to meet them [the recipients of the scholarship] and see what happens. I don’t just want to have my name on some form somewhere.

‘I want to see what happens… typical comedian, I need the emotional feedback from their journey. But I’m excited to see what happens and to whom. Genuinely.’

A spokesperson from the college said: ‘Stories like Russell’s are hugely inspiring and goes to show that if people are given the opportunity they will grab it with both hands.

‘We hope Russell’s story will motivate many people to apply for the scholarship who may have previously thought it was too late.’

Find out more about the scholarships or apply via nec.ac.uk now.