The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Diversity Impact Programme has awarded its second cohort of grants of up to £100k each to eight UK universities to support projects that address the unequal outcomes experienced by their students from diverse and underrepresented groups studying engineering.
An important aspect of the programme is that the universities themselves define what they need to meet their diversity challenges. Some of this year’s projects focus particularly on the barriers faced by students with multiple intersecting markers of disadvantage.
Launched in October 2021, the Diversity Impact Programme aims to inspire change in university engineering departments so that all students succeed, enabling the unique perspectives and experiences of engineers from diverse backgrounds to enhance the profession.
Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:
“Engineering and technology shape the world around us and play a critical role in addressing some of the greatest global challenges of our age. It is therefore vital that the engineering profession is reflective of the society it seeks to serve.
“There is also an overwhelming evidence base for the business benefits of diverse teams and inclusive leadership so as an Academy one of our priorities is to ensure that the UK has a world-leading and truly inclusive engineering workforce, something that we can only achieve if we boost the numbers and diversity of those choosing engineering careers.
“In order to do that we need to address the inequality of experience and outcomes for engineering students and graduates from underrepresented groups. I hope these projects will provide important insights into how we can achieve this and help to create more inclusive cultures at a critical stage for aspiring engineers.”
The eight projects being funding are as follows (value of award in brackets). More detail about each project can be found on the Academy’s website.
Projects will run for 12 to 18 months. All grant recipients have demonstrated a commitment to transformative change and will join a community of practice to facilitate learning across the cohort of grantees and the wider engineering higher education sector.
This programme is funded through the Academy’s allocation of funding from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.