'I'll pay for a Hull student to achieve university dream'
HE WAS educated in the city and has gone on to huge business success.
Now, Shaun Mays wants to give back to his home city by offering to sponsor a student from Wyke College through university.
Mr Mays, an investment professional now living between New York and Zurich, is offering £18,000 to help a lucky student with their studies.
He grew up in Hull, attending Chiltern Primary School, Wheeler Street School and Kingston High School before going on to study metallurgy at Leeds University.
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He said: "When the university fees came in, I thought 'I have to do something'.
"I wouldn't have gone to university if they had fees.
"I spoke to Leeds University but realised that it did not help anyone from my home town."
Mr Mays said he realised his old school was no longer in existence and if he was a student now, he would be at Wyke College.
So, he got in touch with vice-principal Mike Rogerson to see how he could help.
They have worked for the past six months to mould what the offer would be.
"It is always easy to select the brightest," said Mr Mays. "But I wanted someone who was also working hard and achieving a lot, just to help them.
"I was lucky.
"If you are a parent these days and you are earning £15,000 a year and your child is told they are going to have to pay to go to university, you would think, 'My kid is going to have that debt for the rest of their life'.
"It stops people from poor families going and perpetuates the whole system of the poor not being educated and that education is for the rich."
Mr Mays said the last of his five children is finishing university this year and while he had the means to help someone, he would.
He is hoping to make the award an annual one.
"If it helps a bit then that's great. If one more student can go then it will hopefully help them out of that trap," he said.
He said he would select the student based not just on intelligence, but also hard work.
His funding will help the lucky student with living costs while they are studying.
Mr Mays said: "I was lucky, I didn't have to work while I was at university – I had a grant.
"I had a summer job but not when I was at university.
"I think about 90 per cent of students now have a part-time job.
"You can't concentrate on your studies if you are stacking shelves at Tesco at night.
"It is a lot harder now for kids. There is a lot more pressure on them."
Mr Mays says he hopes other people with the means will follow suit, even if it is £100 per year for the three years a student is at university.
"If ten people did that, that's £1,000. It all helps."
Mr Rogerson said: "We are delighted Shaun Mays has made this incredibly generous offer to support a Wyke student at university for the next three years.
"Shaun attended Kingston High School in Hull, and clearly has gone on to a very successful career, working in Australia, the US, and in various European cities, but has never forgotten his home city.
"This offer will make a massive difference to one of our students."