Zoya Anwar

Zoya Anwar from Stretford is nearing the end of her first year studying Computer Science. Although her start to university life has been impacted by social distancing and remote learning, she’s optimistic about the future.

To support her studies, Zoya was awarded the Amazon Future Engineer student bursary: Zoa comment“I had read about the bursary online and it was incredible to have received that call from the university to say that I had been awarded it.”

She continued: “Having access to additional funds through the bursary will mean that I can buy a better laptop that will support the programmes I am working on with the course. Looking ahead though, the bursary will also help me when we go back to classroom learning, as it will help cover the costs for travel and accommodation while I’m there.” Zoya adds that she’s excited for the future: “I can’t wait to explore the world of computer science more and am particularly excited about machine learning. It is reassuring to know that I will also have the bursary behind me to support me as I carve my path.”

Royal Academy of Engineering and Amazon launch new bursary scheme to support social mobility among women students

  • Expansion of Amazon Future Engineer bursary scheme will support women students from low-income households studying computer science and related engineering courses at UK universities

The Royal Academy of Engineering is working with Amazon to launch a new Amazon Future Engineer bursary scheme in the UK. Twelve awards, worth £5,000 a year for up to four years, will be made available to students progressing from A level or technical education courses to university for the 2021/22 academic year. The new bursaries will help students who demonstrate a drive and passion for computing and engineering, and an understanding of how innovation and creativity in these fields can help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. 

Women are still significantly underrepresented in engineering and technology in higher education. UCAS data on university application and acceptance figures for the 2020 cycle highlighted that women represent just 16% and 18% of accepted applications to computing and engineering degrees respectively. At the current rate of progress, parity of women in engineering degrees will not be achieved until 2085.

Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “The Academy and Amazon share an ambition to inspire and support young people to become the next generation of engineers, and I welcome the opportunity to work together in encouraging more women and girls from all backgrounds to take up careers in engineering and computing. We need a greater diversity of views and experiences working within these professions if we are to come up with effective solutions to the many challenges that society faces. At the current rate of progress, to achieve the same number of women as men on degree courses for these subjects would take another 74 years. We simply cannot afford to wait that long.”

“Our new bursary scheme with the Royal Academy of Engineering will help more women become the innovation leaders of the UK” said John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “More needs to be done to encourage women to enter these fields and break down barriers that students face. The Amazon Future Engineer bursary scheme is just one of the ways that we are helping to increase the representation of women in the UK innovation economy and exciting careers in computer science.”

Amazon Future Engineer bursaries are open to students enrolling onto courses such as electrical and electronic engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence and software engineering in the UK.

The bursaries will focus on areas of the UK that have been identified as social mobility cold spots—places in the country where opportunities and outcomes for young people need improving. Awardees will be invited to attend annual networking and training weekends and will have access to a community forum providing support from the Royal Academy of Engineering and Amazon.

They will also receive news of available internships, as well as mentoring and funding to help them progress from university into engineering and computing careers. 

The bursary scheme is part of Amazon Future Engineer, Amazon’s comprehensive childhood-to-career programme to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to try computer science and related engineering courses.