TV presenter Anita Rani has launched a new scholarship at the University of Bradford.

The unique opportunity will give financial support to four students - including a 50 per cent waiver on university fees and annual living cost bursary.

The Bradford-born broadcaster, who became the university’s seventh chancellor in March, said the first scholarship will be awarded in the 2024/25 academic year.

It can only be used on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) courses.

It will help women from disadvantaged backgrounds study and succeed in the subjects and industries, where they are most underrepresented.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The Rani Scholarship is inspired by Anita’s passion for how higher education can change the trajectory of women’s lives.

“Going to university completely changes your life,” said the ‘Baby Does A Runner’ author.

“It opens your world up not only through education but the culture and people you get to meet – this is about instilling the next generation with confidence to step into the world.

“One of the things I wanted to do was to support women to gain access to a higher education. This has been a passion of mine forever, so the fact that we will be able to fulfil it is incredible.

“University isn’t just about acquiring knowledge; it’s about finding your own voice, cultivating your passions, and gaining the confidence to forge a new path. 

“The Rani Scholarship will give women who have faced or live with significant challenges a chance to pursue their dreams.”

The Rani scholarship will support four female students each year, the University of Bradford said.

Professor Shirley Congdon, vice-chancellor at the University of Bradford, said: “Not every student arrives at university with the support they need to thrive.

"Many women, like Anita, are the first in their families to go to university – at Bradford today more than two-thirds of our entrants are first-generation students.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

“Giving females facing disadvantage or significant challenges access to education not only changes their lives but can fundamentally change the lives of every generation after them.”

The broadcaster previously told the Telegraph & Argus about her belief in the power of higher education - particularly for women and girls.

Speaking on the day she began her new role, Anita said: “It feels really right for me to take this position, access to higher education is something I believe in.

“It changed my life. My granddad moved to Bradford in the early 1950s, one of the first Indian families here, my dad was four. I’m the first person to have gone to university so it’s remarkable really that I’m here.

"But I think it’s the story of Bradford, it’s the story of people who come and work hard and want more for themselves. It feels perfect.”