The award is one of 20 made through a new HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) Postgraduate Support Scheme, a £25 million publicly-funded programme. It will allow us to develop a programme that includes a six-month work placement, core research and employability skills training.

The new scheme was announced today by David Willetts MP, the Universities and Science Minister.

The course will draw on our large and well-established employer network and has been endorsed by the James Dyson Foundation, Atkins, Expedition, ARUP, the Centre for Sustainable Energy, Sustain and the West of England LEP. All those involved have committed to working with us to jointly develop and deliver this project.

It is our over-arching mission to provide all-round education for our students, with a focus on employability. The project supports this by building on one of our key strengths - placement provision within a research-intensive university. It also aligns with some of our core objectives as laid out in the recently published 2013-16 Strategy:

  • recruiting academically gifted students from any background
  • creating a diverse and culturally-rich community
  • promoting external engagement and stronger links with our key networks, and
  • stimulating the exchange of ideas and knowledge through partnerships.

Tuition fees will be paid, as will £6,000 in living costs for the most disadvantaged students. The programme will be monitored to find out how effectively it overcomes barriers to progression, addresses gender imbalances and improves employability.

The total cost of the project will be £855,000 and 30 students will benefit from the scheme after it launches in autumn 2014.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell said “I am delighted that the University has been chosen as one of only 20 projects to receive support through the HEFCE Postgraduate Support Scheme.

“This is testament to Bath’s position as a university with an excellent employability record and strong links with employers.”