Twenty-five students will be receiving a once in a lifetime opportunity to study a degree with all tuition fee costs covered at UCFB.

Recipients of the ‘Next 25’ fund – launched in partnership with Kick It Out to celebrate their 25th anniversary and worth over £500,000 – will complete degrees at either UCFB Etihad Campus in Manchester or UCFB Wembley in London. The Next 25 fund gives recipients full tuition fee scholarships – worth up to £54,000.

Extraordinary journey

The Next 25 was introduced at UCFB Etihad Campus at a special event on 24 October at which Kick It Out’s education work across all areas of football was also discussed.

Sharona Friedman, Chief Marketing Officer at UCFB (pictured below), said: “We are thrilled to be gifting this once in a lifetime opportunity to the 25 scholars and are very excited to welcome them to the institution, where they will begin their extraordinary journey.

“UCFB is committed to inclusion and diversity within the football industry at all levels, so we’re delighted to be able to partner with Kick It Out to offer this incredible scholarship opportunity. Our partnership with Kick It Out can only be described as a natural synergy.

“The recipients of this award will not only receive a first-class education to begin their career in the football and sports industry, but the opportunity to represent Kick It Out and UCFB around the country is truly a one-off experience.”

Approximately 2,200 students currently study across the Wembley and Etihad campuses and 90% of graduates are in employment or further education within six months – with almost two-thirds working in sport.

Official ambassadors

The recipients of the Next 25 scholarship will become official ambassadors for Kick It Out across the football industry and act as peer educators on behalf of Kick It Out.

Keeley Baptista, Programmes Manager at Kick It Out (pictured below), said: “We aspire to educate everybody through the power of football and successfully promote equality, diversity and inclusion.

“As a society, we have made huge steps forwards in becoming more of a multi-cultural society, however, there is still a lot to be done and we are hoping the Next 25 scholars will help us achieve this.”

The leaders of tomorrow

Roisin Wood OBE, Chief Executive of Kick It Out, said: “Kick It Out and UCFB are dedicated to educating the leaders of tomorrow in the importance of diversity and a level playing field in all sectors of the game. This unique scholarship is the perfect way to promote inclusion and help spread the word on diversity in football.

“As Kick It Out proudly celebrates how far we have come on our 25th anniversary, I am excited to see how the Next 25 scholars will play a pivotal role in helping us move forward over the next 25 years.”

The Next 25 scholars who will be receiving the fund are listed below, alongside what they will be studying:

Finley Walker – BA (Hons) Football Business & Media
Huxley Barnacle-Best – BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management
Mohamed Jama – BA (Hons) International Football Business
Julen Beer – MSc International Sport Management
Jair Mauricio Grajales Giraldo – MSc International Sport Management
Joshua Brimacombe-Wiard – MSc Football Coaching & Analysis
Conor Ogilvie-Davidson – International Sport Management (Online)
Jenna Naidene Henry – MSc Sport Management
Sheriff Tajudeen – MSc Football Coaching & Analysis (Part Time)
Ediong Udom – MSc Sport Management
Adeodatus Ronie Twumasi – MSc Sport Management
Karthik Shyamsundar – BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management
Uthman Akitoye – BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management
Michael Joseph Loghan knox – BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management with Foundation Year
Bethany Jane Powney – BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management
Ilias Pajoheshfar – BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management
Maria Fernandes – MSc Football Coaching & Analysis
Lekan Odushola – MSc Football Coaching & Analysis
Sabiha Jamal – BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management
Shakeel Mira – MSc Football Coaching & Analysis
Moaz Awadelkarim – MSc International Sport Management (Online)
Charlie Dawson – MSc Football Coaching & Analysis
Cigdem Turkan – MSc International Sport Management