The Guru Nanak Social Mobility Scholarships is a joint project between Mukhtiar Singh and the Sikh Education Council.
- The aims of the scholarships are:
- To improve social mobility in professions perceived to be out of reach for those from poorer backgrounds. This will be achieved through financial awards, mentoring and work placements.
- To encourage a wider understanding of Sikh jurisprudence by considering whether society may learn from Sikhism for the benefit of us all. To achieve this, applicants will be asked to write an essay on the topic. 2018’s essay question was, “Was Teresa May right when she said Sikh values are “values we need more than ever as we forge a new ambitious role for Britain in the world”.
- The first scholarship was the Bar Scholarship. There may also be a Solicitor Scholarship in 2020 alongside the Bar Scholarship.
Criteria for Bar Scholarship
- Applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply as long as they meet the following criteria:
- A strong commitment to a career at the Bar. Applicants will be expected to be studying law at degree level (or GDL); or studying or about to study the Bar Professional Training Course (“BPTC”); or have completed the BPTC but are yet to commence pupillage.
- The potential to become a barrister. This will be tested by the application itself, including the essay
- Financial and social disadvantage. This will be for the Applicant to demonstrate, who must be prepared to provide further details and documentary evidence upon request. State school education alone is not sufficient. Examples of disadvantage include, but are not limited to:
- Qualifying for free school meals or living in (or have lived in)
- Lived in social housing.
- Please note that these are only examples. Anyone in doubt over whether they may meet this criterion should contact Mukhtiar Singh here. If you are advised that you meet the criterion, then this is on the basis that you will provide verification in accordance with the application process.
The application process
- Details of the 2019 scholarships will be published here. It is likely that the application deadline will be early September 2019. The applications will be considered and further information may be requested. There may be brief interviews. It is hoped that the results will be published by 1 December 2019.
- The prize for the 2019 Bar Scholarship will once again be £4,000 and mentoring.
- Depending on the quantity and quality of applications, some work experience and help with applications for pupillage may be offered to those just falling short of the first prize.
- Chambers and firms willing to provide work placements should please contact Mukhtiar Singh here.
- In the spirit of the legal profession, and in the spirit of Sikhism, award winners/runner ups who subsequently secure pupillage through the scheme (“the Scholars”) will be expected to participate in the scheme including providing mentoring.
- Further, it is hoped that as the scheme develops, Scholars will lead engagement in state schools with the Sikh Education Council to encourage the very best potential to consider a career in the Bar, whatever their background.
- The Guru Nanak Social Mobility Scholarships will be available in other professions: please contact the Sikh Education Council if you wish to register your interest
- Questions about the Bar Scholarship or the scholarships generally should be directed to Mukhtiar Singh here.