University scholarships up for grabs as £8.2 million awarded to widen tech sector diversity

The University of Gloucestershire has won a big boost of funding to offer data science scholarships to under-represented groups of students — with applications for the 2024-25 academic year now open.

By Sarah Kent  |  Published
The University of Gloucestershire is seeking scholarship applicants as part of a multi-million pound funding boost to strengthen diversity and inclusion in the UK's tech sector.

To help address the gap in skilled digital science graduates from under-represented backgrounds, the University of Gloucestershire has been awarded a substantial portion of money from an £8.2 million fund provided by the government.

The money will be used to fund a number of scholarships in data science, each worth up to £10,000, with women, Black students, students registered disabled and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds prioritised.

These groups are currently significantly under-represented in the artificial intelligence and data science industries, with the digital skills shortage estimated to cost the UK economy £63 billion a year.

The university is seeking applicants from these groups for its MSc in data science for the 2024-25 academic year — with applications open now.

As part of a consortium of 31 universities taking part in the graduate skills drive, last year it offered nine MSc scholarships, with an incredible 818 available across the country this academic year.

Zainab Loukil, academic course lead for the University of Gloucestershire’s MSc in data science, said: 'We’re determined to help drive forward further progress around accessibility and diversity within the UK digital sector and provide opportunities for untapped talent and potential within under-represented groups to thrive.

'The scholarship programme for our MSc in data science will enable students from under-represented groups to gain critical skills for a career in the digital sector and help to ensure that improvements that address the skills gap take place in an inclusive and representative way.

'We look forward to providing students with the skills and qualifications they need for a rewarding and successful career in the sector and playing a key role in supporting the ambition to make Gloucestershire a world-class centre for technological innovation.'

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