The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Diversity Impact Programme has awarded grants of up to £100k each to three UK universities to support projects that address the unequal outcomes experienced by their students from diverse and underrepresented groups studying engineering.
This is the third round of grants to be awarded since the Diversity Impact Programme launched in 2021. Since then, a total of £1,998,500 has been awarded to 20 universities for 22 projects. The programme’s aim is 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. An important aspect of the programme is that the universities themselves define what they need to meet their diversity and inclusion challenges.
Together, the three latest university projects focus on improving the outcomes of students who are underrepresented in engineering and who experience social inequality, as well as on diversifying engineering departments. The projects are targeted at a range of students and learners, including women and girls, young carers and other disadvantaged learners (including young people impacted by the pandemic), and those facing inequality due to their ethnicity, socio-economic status or disability.
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Joanna Whiteman, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “I find it impossible to overstate how vital it is that we find new and better ways to tackle the long-standing inequality of experience and outcomes for engineering students and graduates from underrepresented groups. So I am encouraged to see how the Diversity Impact Programme is unlocking such ingenuity on the part of staff and students as they collaborate to tackle this problem together. Emerging findings from the projects we have supported to date are already providing important insights into how universities can cultivate more inclusive cultures at a critical stage for aspiring engineers.”
The latest projects being funded are as follows (value of award in brackets).
More detail about these three projects and others that have been funded under the Diversity Impact Programme 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 join a community of practice to facilitate learning all cohorts 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.