Page 3 Profile: Emily-Rose Eastop, Student

  • @kt_grant

I have always depended on the kindness of strangers…

Student Emily-Rose Eastop has decided to test the effectiveness of the approach espoused by Blanche Dubois. The Oxford graduate hit headlines after she set up a fundraising page asking donors to help her raise £26,000 to pay for her Master’s degree in cognitive and evolutionary anthropology. Yesterday she hit back at critics who branded her a “posh brat” for using crowdfunding to pay for her education.

Have the good people of the world stumped up the cash?

As of yesterday [MON]  evening Eastop, who graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford, with a 2.1 in Human Sciences in 2010, had secured more than £17,000 in funding, enough to cover the £14,500 deposit due on Friday. The 26-year-old set up her crowdfunding page ‘Get ‘er to Oxford’ in a bid to avoid accumulating more student debts – she racked up £20,000 worth of debt during her undergraduate degree. In return for pledges of £1 or more, she has promised to publish regular, easily digestible summaries of what she learns on a private blog. 

Why doesn’t she  get a job?

She says she has applied for nearly 200 jobs but that she has not managed to find gainful employment, other than occasional tutoring.

Can’t her parents help out?

Writing in The Telegraph yesterday, Eastop informed her detractors that unfortunately her parents don’t have £26,000 “knocking about”. She continued that being labelled a “posh brat” has become “a bit of a joke among my friends - not least because I went to Leytonstone School, a local comprehensive”.

What does she make of the backlash?

Easton said: “I’ve been amazed by people who say: ‘But nobody helped me like this. We had to take out loans - you should too’. How is this an attitude to be proud of? I’d be embarrassed to say that. The last thing I’d want is for everyone to know I was the sort of person who wanted others not to have opportunities, just because I didn’t.”

But others have applauded her efforts?

Hundreds of altruistic people have pledged to support Eastop, including cognitive scientists Douglas Hofstadter and Stephen Pinker – whom she cites as “heroes”.