Six engineering students from the West Midlands have each won a bursary worth £5000 a year for three years to support their university studies. The awardees were announced at an event at WMG at the University of Warwick to celebrate three successful years of the Lord Bhattacharyya Engineering Education Programme.
The six recipients of the Lord Bhattacharyya Higher Education bursaries were announced by engineer and social entrepreneur Yewande Akinola MBE HonFREng, who was the keynote speaker at the celebration event held at the National Automotive Innovation Centre in Coventry.
The Lord Bhattacharyya Engineering Education Programme aims to widen participation in engineering by attracting young people in the West Midlands from low-income backgrounds and other groups currently underrepresented in engineering. Launched in 2020, the five-year programme is led by the Royal Academy of Engineering in close partnership with WMG. It is funded by the Department Science, Innovation and Technology as a tribute to the late Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya Kt CBE FREng FRS, a renowned engineer, academic, educator and government advisor who established WMG at the University of Warwick in 1980. The Programme provides a comprehensive package of engineering-focused science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) support, including grants to schools and colleges, teacher networking and CPD opportunities, funded industrial secondments, as well as individual FE and HE student bursaries.
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The six bursary recipients are:
Since 2020, a total of over £400,000 has been awarded in bursaries to 28 students.
Over 150 people from schools, colleges and engineering industries in the West Midlands attended the event to celebrate the Lord Bhattacharyya Engineering Education Programme. The event featured secondary schools and further education colleges demonstrating to invited guests some of the projects that have been supported by the Programme and helped to enrich science, technology, engineering and maths teaching and learning.
The day also included inspirational speakers and hands-on activities, including a competitive group challenge delivered by Jaguar Land Rover’s Powertrain team, and an immersive session in TATA Motors’ VR lab and tour of their cutting-edge research facilities. More than ten other locally based engineering employers were also on hand to give students an understanding of the region’s engineering excellence and career opportunities.
Lynda Mann, Head of Education Programmes at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said of the celebration: “The energy and enthusiasm shown by the students, and indeed everyone else present at the event was fantastic to witness. The creativity and diversity of thought shown by the students is exactly what West Midlands businesses will need from their future engineers and technicians in order to thrive and contribute to the local and national society and economy.
“My congratulations too to the six students awarded bursaries who have already taken the next step towards becoming engineers and I wish them every success.”
My congratulations too to the six students awarded bursaries who have already taken the next step towards becoming engineers and I wish them every success.
Professor Margaret Low MBE, Director of Outreach and Widening Participation at WMG, said: “The Lord Bhattacharyya Engineering Education Programme has been a valuable support network for local schools and for teams at the University who work in partnership with our community. It has brought together teachers, students, academics, and industrial partners to create inspiring opportunities for all.
“The bursary awards encourage and support students to study engineering at university. These students have demonstrated considerable skill and experience already to have been awarded the bursaries, and it’s clear that these students have bright futures ahead. I wish them well on their engineering journey.”
Applications for the fourth round of Lord Bhattacharyya Higher Education Bursaries will open in March 2024, for students enrolling at university in September 2024.