Economy Minister Gordon Lyons is encouraging women and girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply for a new £15,000 scholarship to support engineering studies.
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons pictured with Vicky Newman, Head of Communications for Pulsar – NI Women in STEM, and Dr Bryan Keating, Chair of the DfE Women in STEM Steering Group
Eight scholarships of £15,000 each are available for eligible women and girls to study engineering or related subjects at higher education institutions in the UK and Ireland, with applications open now.
The scholarships are part of the £500,000 Northern Ireland Engineering Education Scheme, funded by the Department of Economics. Other measures being funded include grants of up to £3,000 to schools and higher education institutions to help buy engineering education resources, and STEM Challenge Days for students to excite, inspire and challenge the world. ‘interest.
The program is delivered in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering. The Minister met the Chair of the DfE Women in STEM Steering Group, Dr Bryan Keating CBE, in Netherleigh to discuss the programme, which was endorsed by the Steering Group.
The Minister said:
“I am delighted that my Department supports this program. It is well known that women and girls, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are massively underrepresented in engineering-related fields of study and, therefore, in career paths. This is an inequity we must strive to address, and NI’s engineering education program will help make it happen.
“These scholarships are specifically for women and girls who wish to pursue higher education in engineering and who, without this support, may not be able to afford the costs. I want to remove as many barriers as possible for these women and girls.
The Minister continued:
“The program is supported by £500,000 in funding through my department’s Economic Recovery Action Plan (ERAP), which we put in place in direct response to the impact of the pandemic. These supports also align well with our 10X economic vision for a decade of innovation as we seek to position Northern Ireland as one of the world’s leading small economies going forward.
“I encourage eligible women and girls to look into these scholarships and apply – it could be the stepping stone to an exciting and fulfilling career in engineering.”
Gillian Gregg, Regional Engagement Manager at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:
“We are delighted that the Ministry of Economy is supporting this program. Women make up only around 16% of Northern Ireland-domiciled engineering and technology students at UK universities. This under-representation in higher education is impacting the profession, with a similar small proportion of those working in engineering – less than one in five – being women, according to EngineeringUK.
“We are excited for this opportunity to help more women and girls from all walks of life pursue an engineering education and to encourage greater diversity among future engineers.”
Eligibility criteria for applicants include at least one parent eligible for state benefits, or the applicant being continuously eligible for free school meals in their post-16 education.
Details on how to apply for the scholarships are available on the Royal Academy of Engineering website.
Applications are open until Monday, July 25, 2022 at 4 p.m.
For more information on the NI Engineer Education Program, visit Royal Academy of Engineering website.
Notes to editors:
1. For more STEM opportunities, events and resources, visit the Pulsar website.
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