University scholarships: 10 unusual student bursaries

University is more expensive than ever. We look at 10 scholarships and bursaries you haven't heard of, available for everyone from Welsh-speakers to vegetarians.

University has never been more expensive. Tuition fees have risen to a maximum £9,000 per year, but with living costs included a three-year degree could set you back as much as £75,000.

Many universities offer their own scholarships and bursaries to lessen the financial burden. But with these massively oversubscribed, it is well worth casting the net a little wider.

Specially-targeted scholarships are available for everyone from Welsh-speakers to vegetarians, provided you know where to look.

We've put together a list of 10 unusual, surprising or simply bizarre university scholarships. Read on to see if you're eligible...

Vegetarian Charity Grant

Maximum Award: £500 Subject: No specific subject

The Vegetarian Charity will provide a one-off award of up to £500 for a student in financial need, as long as they promise not to eat any meat. As part of the grant application, the Trustees will "look to see a clear commitment by applicants to a vegetarian or vegan diet".

Leverhulme Trust Undergraduate Bursary

Maximum Award: £9,000 Subject: No specific subject

It's not just eating vegetables that comes in handy. Selling them could work in your favour too. The Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust offers bursaries of up to £3,000 a year to UK students who are the son, daughter, spouse, widow or widower of a grocer or indeed a chemist or travelling salesman and are in need of financial support.

 Royal & Ancient Golf Scholarship

Maximum Award: £5,000 Subject: No specific subject

Golf can be expensive habit, but for a lucky few it has some lucrative advantages. Even if you can't bag a Rory McIlroy-style multi-million Nike deal, top golfers at 12 UK universities can gain up to £5,000 funding through a Royal & Ancient Golf Scholarship. The bar is set high, with a guideline handicap of +1 or better for men and +3 or better for women.

Merchant Venturers Bursary

Maximum Award: £3,000 Subject: Engineering Number Available: 3

An ancient entrepreneurial society tracing its roots back to Bristol's 13th-century Guild of Merchants, the Society of Merchant Venturers today offers up to £3,000 over two years for a student with an “enthusiasm for engineering” who lives in a Bristol postcode.

IdeasTap Uni Fee Fund

Maximum Award: £9,000 Subject: No specific subject Number Available: 1

Arts careers network IdeasTap is inviting arts and music students to pitch ideas that could help or improve its service anything from “This is how you could improve your site ...” to “I’ll run this Spa event for your members ...”. The best idea or service winner will receive a £9,000 lump sum paid directly to the Student Loans Company.

Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education

Maximum Award: £300 Subject: No specific subject

You don't have to be from Yorkshire but you do have to be a lady to benefit from the Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education bursary. A maximum £300 is awarded to women over the age of 21 who must have a place at a British university and be unable to finance it themselves.

Royal Navy

Maximum Award: Not stated Subject: Engineering

Candidates can apply for a university bursary as well as sponsorship for sixth form through the 1 and 2 year Royal Navy Sponsorship Schemes. Those successful will also receive a guaranteed entry place at Naval College.

Milford Haven Port Authority

Maximum Award: £1,500 Subject: No specific subject Number Available: 4

Continuing the nautical theme, the Milford Haven Port Authority is offering a one-off £1,500 scholarship for any student a course at a British university who has completed the majority of their education in Pembrokeshire. It comes with a placement at the port authority itself during the summer holidays.

The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Scholarship

Maximum Award: £3,000 Subject: No specific subject Number Available: 150

It's not what you study, but how you study it. Students studying any subject through the medium of Welsh can apply for up to £3,000 through The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Scholarship .

Desmond Tutu Scholarship

Maximum Award: £24,000 Subject: No specific subject Number Available: 5

A highly worthy number 10. The Desmond Tutu Scholarship offers up to £8,000 per year for students in financial need who are committed to helping the developing world. Applicants must submit a statement showing their proven dedication and "a strong desire to develop skills that, on graduation, they can apply in practical ways to build better futures for disadvantaged peoples around the world".

For more information visit The Scholarship Hub

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