A graduate is attempting to raise £26,000 by crowdfunding a master's course at Oxford University, despite being unemployed for four years.
Emily-Rose Eastop, 26, graduated with a 2:1 in humanities from the prestigious university in 2010. She had hopeful prospects in landing a job but four years later she is still unemployed, living in her family home and in £20,000 of debt from her undergraduate course.
Eastop decided to follow her ambition regardless and applied to study an MSC in cognitive and evolutionary anthropology this year. Although her application was successful, her request for a scholarship was not and she was unable to receive a grant. So, she got her thinking cap on.
She noted the public's willingness to help and raise money for those in need whatever the cause. All she had to do was ask.
"I put the feelers out - setting up a fundraising page to see whether anyone would be interested in helping to pay my fees," she told The Telegraph.
Eastop's suspicions have been proven correct. Her 'Get 'Er To Oxford!' plea has pulled heart strings globally with donations coming from the United Kingdom, America and Austria. At the time of writing, she has raised £19,285.
Eastop is now a step closer to her dream of becoming a scientist. She needed £16,000 by the beginning of August in order to secure her place on the course. In return and as a thank you to her pledgers, she promises to communicate all that she learns whilst studying on a private blog.
"I will publish easily digestible summaries of all the essays I write, interesting ideas from lectures I have been to, cool quotes from books I'm reading and people I have spoken to. And anything I think you might find thought provoking or entertaining."
An Oxford University spokesman said: "We hope more can be done at a national level to ensure postgraduate courses are open to all."
While many have clearly been inspired by her ambition and enthusiasm, others have not been so supportive.
"I'd rather donate to someone genuinely needy, such as sick children or the homeless. I funded my degree like many others by working in fast food. I guess she's too posh for a dead end job?", commented a reader on the Daily Mail
Another comment read: "I find this modern form of begging distasteful."
Eastop went to a local comprehensive in Leytonstone, London and funded her previous studies the same way the majority of students do; through a student loan from the government. Her new label as a 'posh brat' has now become a joke among herself and friends.
Despite the negativity that has been expressed, the student is more determined than ever to reach her goal and study, once again, at Oxford University.
"What it all boils down to is this: If you do not want to donate, then do not. If you think I'm 'immoral', so be it. I am not coercing people - I'm asking whether they would like to donate, willingly, in exchange for an insight into my studies."Suggest a correction