Students across the West Midlands have been awarded a new series of bursaries as part of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Lord Bhattacharyya Engineering Education Programme. Four higher education bursaries have been awarded to students studying engineering at university this year, along with 18 post-16 technical education bursaries to support students studying at Level 3. This ambitious programme will also deliver science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education support for students and teachers and has allocated over £44,000 of funding to 20 secondary schools and a number of further education colleges in the region this academic year. It has been made possible by government funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Higher education bursaries for the 2020-2021 academic year have been awarded to:
Post-16 technical education bursaries for this academic year have been awarded to students studying at:
Read more about the Lord Bhattacharyya Engineering Education Programme here.
The programme recognises the outstanding achievements and continues the legacy of the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya KT CBE FREng FRS, in tribute to his work championing manufacturing and industrially engaged education. The West Midlands has a long history of engineering and manufacturing, with strong roots in bicycles, cars, textiles and watches, and this project builds on that heritage, supporting the untapped engineering potential within local students to build a skills base for engineering companies in the area.
The Academy is leading this programme in partnership with WMG at the University of Warwick. The programme draws together secondary schools, further education colleges, universities, local employers and other key stakeholders to inspire and encourage more young people to study STEM subjects in post-16 education and beyond. The programme will enrich the curriculum, stimulate interest and improve student attainment outcomes by bringing real-world engineering practice into the student experience. The aim of the project is to encourage a diverse range of young people to progress towards the engineering roles of the future in local industry.
Applications for higher education bursaries for academic year 2021/2022 will open in Spring 2021 to students planning to study engineering at degree-level. Find out more information.
The Lord Bhattacharyya Engineering Education Programme has established networks of secondary school STEM teachers and engineering lecturers in further education capable of supporting each other and sharing good practice. Funding supports involvement in national and regional engineering programmes as well as the purchase of kit and equipment to enhance and enrich the delivery of the STEM curriculum in schools and colleges. It will provide up to 6,000 STEM learning opportunities for young people each year. Students will also be able to apply for up to 90 bursaries each year to support progression on to full-time engineering technical education or degree courses.
The programme is based on a template of successful Academy engineering education projects in the Welsh Valleys, Barrow-in-Furness, Stoke-on-Trent and Lowestoft, Suffolk, which have together delivered more than 120,000 STEM learning opportunities for young people since their launch. The Lord Bhattacharyya Engineering Education Programme builds on this model and includes fully funded industrial placements for college lecturers and STEM teachers at local engineering companies.
An aligned longitudinal research study led by WMG at the University of Warwick will assess the impact of the good practices pioneered or identified through the programme.
Rebecca Archer, Student Destinations Manager at WMG Academy Solihull, said: “The Lord Bhattacharyya HE Bursary Scheme has been pivotal in breaking down the barriers to Higher Education for some of our students who may not have otherwise continued on their journey to university. One of our successful candidates was overwhelmed in being chosen for this award; it has made a crucial difference between having to be selective to being fully prepared for their studies from a financial perspective. WMG Academy recognises the lifeline the Lord Bhattacharyya HE Bursary Scheme can offer our students. It has ensured that those who are motivated to pursue engineering at university have the chance to take their first steps into this industry.”
Marie Fletcher of Colmers School and Sixth Form College said: "We have set up our first Engineering qualification using the grant money to purchase equipment to inspire pupils in an area where uptake to careers in the engineering sector is low."
Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “We want more young people from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to make a difference through a career in engineering. This programme is supporting young people in the West Midlands to discover how they could make an impact by studying engineering as well as removing some of the barriers that might prevent them going into technical education. I am sure Professor Lord Bhattacharyya would approve of the positive contribution of this initiative in a region that is synonymous with his passion and commitment to engineering innovation.”
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “As we build back better, I am determined that we invest in our young people and eliminate the barriers that exist for those looking to pursue a career in STEM – ensuring that our best and brightest can excel no matter what their background.
“Through this bursary programme, inspired by the legacy of Lord Bhattacharyya, I am delighted we are able to provide a launchpad for the UK’s next generation of highly skilled engineers right in the heart of the West Midlands, building on the region’s proud tradition of engineering and manufacturing.”
Professor Robin Clark, Dean of WMG, University of Warwick, commented: “We are delighted to be working with the Royal Academy of Engineering to deliver the Lord Bhattacharyya Engineering Education Programme. We are looking forward to helping enable the opportunities this will provide for the students involved, as well as the advantages it will bring for their schools and colleges. This is a great opportunity for us to deliver on the Government’s ambitions for developing the next generation of engineers to fill the skills gaps in engineering.”
Notes for Editors
Schools and colleges currently involved with the programme:
The Royal Academy of Engineering is harnessing the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone.
In collaboration with our Fellows and partners, we’re growing talent and developing skills for the future, driving innovation and building global partnerships, and influencing policy and engaging the public.
Together we’re working to tackle the greatest challenges of our age.
About WMG, University of Warwick
WMG is a world leading research and education group, transforming organisations and driving innovation through a unique combination of collaborative research and development, and pioneering education programmes.
As an international role model for successful partnerships between academia and the private and public sectors, WMG develops advancements nationally and globally, in applied science, technology and engineering, to deliver real impact to economic growth, society and the environment.
WMG’s education programmes focus on lifelong learning of the brightest talent, from the WMG Academies for Young Engineers, degree apprenticeships, undergraduate and postgraduate, through to professional programmes.
An academic department of the University of Warwick, and a centre for the HVM Catapult, WMG was founded by the late Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya in 1980 to help reinvigorate UK manufacturing and improve competitiveness through innovation and skills development.
For more information please contact:
Jane Sutton at the Royal Academy of Engineering
E: email@example.com; T: 020 7766 0636
Lisa Harding at WMG