Leeds student tries to raise £18,000 for masters degree

A university student from Leeds has set up a crowd-funding web page in a bid to fight what she calls “elitism” by raising enough money to send her to Oxford.

Genevieve Richardson, 22, originally from London, has spent the last four years studying French and Spanish at the University of Leeds. She is expected to get a first class degree and has had offers from both Oxford and Cambridge.

She intends to take up the Oxford place but it is conditional on her raising £18,653. Two days ago, she set up a crowd funding website - hubbub.net/p/getmetooxford - and has so far raised £350.

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Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, she said: “It bothers me that I have this offer and unless I can raise the money I won’t be able to take it up, which only serves to perpetuate elitism in education and I am against that. That is the reason why I set this up. I got offers from both Oxford and Cambridge and I don’t think money should be a bar.”

Genevieve plans to undertake a masters degree course looking at the damaging effects of overseas aid on poor countries. She said: “More often than not, the aid ends up doing more damage and I want to study this in more detail. A good example is a person in a poor country makes moaquito nets for a living. If someone like Oxfam come along and donate lots of free nets, he’s out of a job. Then, when the nets break, as they will do, there’s no more nets and no-one left to make them, so it’s a double blow.”

Genevieve also has a facebook page dedicated to her mission to get to Oxford: www.facebook.com/getmetooxford

What do you think of her initiaive? Would you fund her? Tell us why or why not... and what do you think about her comments about elitism in higher education?