Guidance Notes

HKF Background Information
HKF contributes to widening participation in higher education by awarding annual bursaries to students who have overcome significant personal and financial hardship to complete a course in a further education college and progress to higher education.

Financial Support: Successful students are usually awarded a £2,250 bursary towards the costs of continuing their education. The bursary is paid in 3 x £750 instalments throughout the student’s higher education course. Please note that the amount of the bursary can vary and some students will be offered scholarships instead of a bursary.

Personal Support: In addition to financial support, successful students will have the opportunity to take part in the the Foundation’s training, mentoring and work-shadowing programmes. This additional support and ongoing contact with the Foundation are key to the organisation’s objectives and so students should only apply if they feel they will benefit from both the financial support and the additional services available.

Eligibility criteria and the selection process
HKF offers financial help to students currently undertaking a course in a not for profit adult or further education institution, who intends to progress to a higher education programme. Before making an application to the Foundation please ensure that you meet our eligibility criteria as follows:
Students can apply to the Foundation if they are:
• In the final year at a publicly-funded further education institution (e.g. in the last year of Access / A level / BTEC / Scottish Highers course at a UK FE / sixth form college) at the time of applying
• Aiming to start a first-time programme of higher education in the autumn of the year in which they are applying at a UK higher education institution (i.e. HND, BA, BSc, Bed, Foundation Degree). Students taking a ‘gap’ year will be considered. 
•  Experiencing barriers to continuing their education
•  Able to demonstrate that they face severe financial hardship
Students cannot apply if they:
•  Are already on a higher education course
•  Are seeking funding for a postgraduate course
•  Have already received an HKF award
•  Have previously undertaken a higher education course
•  Are studying or intend to complete their higher education course at an international institution.
Applicants who do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be considered for an award.

Each year the Foundation receives applications from many more students than we are able to support. You should only apply for an award if you are facing financial and personal difficulties which will make progression to higher education difficult. 
HKF awards are designed to support students who have overcome significant barriers to complete their further education. To see examples of some of the issues our students face and to meet some students who have benefitted from an HKF award please visit our success stories. If you have any questions about whether or not you should apply for an award please contact Shahida Aslam on 0208 223 2027

Making an application

The Foundation will only accept five applications per college. It will not be possible to accept more than five applications under any circumstances.

Colleges are asked to select up to five students to nominate for an award and the Principal of the college will be asked to confirm that they support the student’s application.

How to apply
•  Applications can be completed online by clicking here
•  The student should read the guidance notes fully before completing the application form
•  The student must provide the referee's email online in the application to ask them to complete a supporting statement.  The student is advised to contact their referee to ensure they received the email requesting a referee.

Completing the application form
There are five sections to complete in the application form. Please note that the information you provide in the form will be held and processed in accordance with our Data Protection Policy.

Note 1: Personal details
•  Please complete the personal information section of the form – we need this information to contact you about your application. Please indicate which country you live in (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland).
•  Please ensure that you put your name as you would want to see it on, for example, a certificate, with your first name in one box and your surname in the other. You don’t need to include your middle names.
•  Please tell us which college you currently attend and which course or courses you are studying. Please give this information in full.

Note 2: Preferred Higher Education Choices
•  Please state all of the institutions you have applied to/ or are applying to, and which are your three preferred choices. This information is important for us to match your applications to available awards. 

Note 3: Applicant’s Personal Statement
When answering the questions in the personal statement section of the form please note that in making a judgement about your application, the selection panel will base their assessment on:
•  Your personal and family circumstances and the barriers that you have faced in continuing your education
•  Your ambitions for the future, why you have chosen your course of study and how the HKF award will help you to achieve your ambitions
•  Your financial circumstances, including how you have managed financially whilst at college and how you will support yourself at university
•  How you would spend the £2,250 bursary if successful
•  How you would benefit from the additional support offered by the Foundation
Your application to the Foundation is completely confidential and the selection panel will only be able to take into account information that is given in your personal statement. Your supporting Referee will be asked to give a supporting statement about you but if there is any information that you feel should be taken into account when your application is considered you must include it here. In most cases the Foundation will match the applicant to
the available awards. However, if you think that you meet the additional criteria for any of the badged bursaries please give relevant information in your personal statement.

Note 4:Declaration of eligibility, consent for publicity and checklist
•  Please confirm, by ticking the appropriate box, that you meet the Foundation’s eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria can be found on our website at
•  Please confirm that should your application be successful, you will keep in touch with the Foundation and agree to take part in any publicity that may arise as a result of your selection for an award. If you cannot commit to keeping in touch with the Foundation please do not apply for an award.
•  Please look through the items in the checklist carefully and tick to indicate that you have met all these

Note 5: Equal Opportunities Monitoring Information
•  Please complete the equal opportunities monitoring information section of the form – it is important for the Foundation to ensure that we are accessible to all students and we will use this information to monitor whether or not we are reaching a cross section of the student population. Information you give us will only be used to support your application.

Note 6: Referee’s Supporting Statement
The Referee’s Supporting Statement is an important part of the selection process. Please be sure to include all of the requested information and any other information that you believe should be taken into consideration by the selection panel. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide their referee with a copy of their personal statement. Please note that we will not discuss your application with anyone except your Referee without your

When completing the referee’s supporting statement please consider the following:
•  The referee providing the supporting statement must provide their college contact details and confirm that the college wishes to support the student’s application.
•  The supporting statement can be completed by a college referee, student services staff member or other professional at the college.
•  The student’s application will not be accepted without a supporting statement.

  The referee’s Supporting Statement should be no more than 500 words and should cover the following:
•  What are the applicant’s personal and financial circumstances and what barriers have they overcome to continue their education?
•  How well suited is the applicant to the higher education course they plan to take and how realistic are the student’s ambitions?
•  Please include information on the students predicted grades as some of the scholarships we award are restricted on basis of merit.
•  What contribution, to your knowledge, has the student made to a) college life and b) their community?
•  Is there any other information that you believe is relevant to the student’s application?
•  How do you think the student would benefit from the additional support offered by the Foundation?
Applications will only be accepted for consideration if they are accompanied by the referee’s supporting statement.
Informing you of the outcome of your application

•  The selection panel will meet in June and you will be informed of the outcome of your application 
•  All students will be informed of the outcome of their application and the referees of successful students will also be informed.
•  If you are successful in being awarded an HKF Award there may be certain requirements which must be met prior to you receiving your award. In the case of University Badged Bursaries you must be accepted at the sponsoring university and take up a place there prior to being awarded the bursary.

For further information on any aspect of completing your application please contact the Operations Manager Shahida Aslam 0208 223 2027 or email

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