A guiding light on the path to university

Moving from Nigeria aged 11 and gaining residency status here in the UK, Dolapo Olanubi had dreamt of attending university. But after discovering that she was classed as an international student and would face significantly higher tuition fees than expected, that dream was left in the balance.

Dolapo Olanubi
second year Psychology
and Neorosciences student

Thanks to William Henry Revis’ generous legacy gift to Nottingham in his Will, Dolapo was able start her university journey last year with the support of a scholarship. 

The University of Nottingham was built upon the foundations laid by generous donors nearly 100 years ago. After a successful career in the lace industry W.H. Revis passed away in 1923 leaving £48,000 in his Will to the university. A fund was established and the impact of his decision to remember the university in his Will continues to this day, supporting both part-time postgraduate students in financial hardship as well as access to higher education for applicants seeking asylum in the UK through a scholarship. 

This scholarship provides full funding for tuition fees and £500 each year to help with living costs. One student is awarded this scholarship each year. In 2021 that student was Dolapo Olanubi.

“As dramatic as it might sound, when I found out that I was classed as an international student it was one of the worst moments of my life. I had been granted residency status a year before I applied, I thought that was the only barrier for me to get into university. When I found out that I was still classed as an international student I was devastated.”

I don’t know exactly what I want to do in the future but I know I want to help people. Anything that could help people.

Students like Dolapo who are seeking asylum in the UK may not be eligible for home funding and therefore face a significant barrier to obtaining a university education. Without the support of the scholarship, Dolapo would have had to wait another three years before she would be classed as a home student.

“My form tutor at college found the scholarship at Nottingham. When I saw that it only went to one person each year I wasn’t sure I would get it, but she really encouraged me. I had watched videos showing the campus and I thought it just looked beautiful. When I saw the email saying I got it, I was so emotional, I was crying. That moment will stay with me forever.

“I was already looking to start a baking business in case I couldn’t go to university. My mom has always encouraged me to learn lots of skills – I can do hair, bake and I can cook as well – so I was going to use those skills to make money and just try to keep myself busy until I could be classed as a home student.



When I found out my application for the scholarship has been successful we were very, very happy. “£500 doesn’t seem like a lot but it has made such a big impact on my life. Coming to live in Nottingham was really hard on my parents as they had just lost their jobs during lockdown and they also needed to pay their rent. I found work at Superdrug where I did the night shift for the last two months before university so we could pay my rent when I came here.

“If you have the power to help someone like W.H. Revis did, it will change someone’s life like it has for me. It will be with me for the rest of my life. I will always have this experience in my heart. I know this scholarship did not just change my life but has changed others. I know it has also given hope to many other young people in my position. Thank you so much for giving me the first step to success.”

Dolapo is enjoying the challenge of studying psychology and neuroscience and wants to work in the field in the future. “I don’t know exactly what I want to do in the future, but I know I want to do something that will help people.” 

Become a Guiding Light

You too can give students like Dolapo the opportunity to follow their dreams.

Please consider leaving a gift in your Will and becoming a Guiding Light to others. 

Be a guiding light